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Ulysses Simpson Grant 





No. 32 Frauklin Street 

£ - 

Copyright, by 




C. J. Peters and Son, Boston. 

'Of the great names on history's page, 
Renowned in an illustrious age, 

Our Union claims, 
From North to South, from sea to sea, 
This Hero's as one of its three 

Immortal names." 



I. Eably Days 11 

II. Life at West Point 17 

III. Beginning of Army Life — Mexican War, 23 

IV. Gkant as a Private Citizen 29 

V. Opening of the Civil War 33 

VI. The Capture of Forts Henry and Don- 

elson 41 

VII. The Battle of Shiloh 53 

VIII. The Battles of Iuka and Corinth ... 63 

IX. Beginning of the Vicksburg Campaign . 68 

X. The Vicksburg Campaign (continued) . . 89 

XL Investment and Siege of Vicksburg . . 112 

XII. Occupation of Vicksburg 131 

XIII. The Negro Question — Trade in the 

Southern States — Grant's New Com- 
mand 141 

XIV. The Chattanooga Campaign 149 

XV. Grant is appointed Lieutenant-General, 161 



XVI. The Army of the Potomac — Battles of 
The Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court 

House, and Cold Harbor 172 

XVII. Army of the Potomac before Peters- 
burg **■* 

XVIII. The Surrender of Lee 195 

XIX. Close of the War — Assassination of 

President Lincoln — Mexican Affairs, 208 

XX. Keconstruction 218 

XXI. General Grant is elected President of 

the United States 229 

XXII. General Grant's Tour around the 

World 243 

XXIII. Tour around the World (continued) . . 261 

XXIV. The Welcome Home 272 

XXV. Last Days of General Grant .... 2S8 

XXVI. Last Honors to General Grant ... 307 
XXVII. Tributes to General Grant, Anecdotes, 

and Various Reminiscences .... 318 






TTIRAM ULYSSES GEANT, the eldest of six 
~* — ■- children, was born at Point Pleasant, Cler- 
mont County, Ohio, on the 27th of April, 1822. 
Point Pleasant is a post village of the county, and 
is situated upon tbe Ohio River, about twenty-five 
miles above Cincinnati. His parents were of 
Scotch descent, and his great-grandfather, Noah 
Grant, was a captain in the early French wars. 
His grandfather, who bore the same name, was a 
lieutenant in the battle of Lexington. Before 
their little son was two years old, his parents 
changed their residence to Georgetown, in Brown 
County, Ohio, and it Avas here that young Grant 
spent the early part of his life. This latter vil- 
lage is about seven miles from the Ohio River, and 
in the midst of a rich farming district. 

Grant was by no means a brilliant lad at school. 
He was slow in acquiring knowledge, but so pa- 
tient and persevering that he would never give up 



a task until he had mastered it ; and whatever was 
once impressed on his mind was never forgot- 

At one time, when he was quite a little fellow, 
he had an unusually difficult lesson to learn. " You 
can't master that task," remarked one of his school- 

" Can't ! " returned Grant, " what does that 
mean ? " 

" Well, it means just that you can't.'" 

Grant had really never heard the word before, 
and began to hunt it up in his old dictionary. At 
last he came to his teacher and asked, — 

" What is the meaning of f can't ' ? The word is 
not in the dictionary." 

The teacher explained its origin, and how it came 
to be corrupted by abbreviation, and then, to im- 
press an important truth upon the minds of his 
young pupils, he added, — 

" If, in the struggles through life, any person 
should assert that ' you can't ' do anything that 
you had set your mind upon accomplishing, let 
your reply be, if the work be a good and lawful 
one, ( The word "can't" is not in the dictionary.' " 

Grant never forgot the incident. He not only 
conquered his studies, but, in after years, he often 
replied to those who declared he would fail in at- 
taining his object, that "the word 'can't' is not to 
be found in any dictionary." 


When he was about twelve years old, his father 
sent him to buy a horse of a farmer named Ral- 
ston, who lived some distance in the country. Be- 
fore starting, the boy was given his errand as 
follows : — 

"Now, remember, Ulysses, when you see Mr. 
Ralston, tell him I have sent you to buy his horse, 
and offer him fifty dollars for it. If he will not 
take that, offer him fifty-five dollars, and, rather 
than you should come away without the horse, 
you had better give him sixty dollars." 

Ulysses carefully repeated the instructions, and 
his father felt assured that he would carry them 
out with his usual faithfulness and discretion. 

The boy, however, was a little thrown off his 
balance by Mr. Ralston's direct question, — 

" Well, Ulysses, how much did your father tell 
you to give for him ? " 

Remembering his mother's oft-repeated injunc- 
tion to tell the truth at all times, he replied, — 

" Why, father told me to offer you fifty dollars 
at first, and, if that would not do, to give you 
fifty-five dollars ; and, rather than come away with- 
out the horse, I was to pay sixty dollars." 

It is needless to say that Ralston refused to sell 
the horse for less than sixty dollars. 

" I am sorry for that," returned Grant ; " for, on 
looking at the horse, I have determined not to 
give more than fifty dollars for it, although father 


said I might give sixty. You may take fifty, if 
you like, or you may keep the horse." 

We are glad to say that Ulysses rode the horse 

A brother of Grant's father had settled in Can- 
ada, and, while there, had become impressed with 
the strong British antipathy towards the United 
States Government. His son, John, however, he 
sent to the same school where young Ulysses was 
studying, in order that he might be able to gain a 
better education than he could at that time obtain 
in Canada. 

Of course, John had been brought up with the 
same feelings as his father, and he did not hesitate 
to speak in a disparaging manner about American 
affairs, especially when it redounded to the praise 
of the " mother-country." 

One day, after a long debate on the two forms 
of government, the love of country, etc., John 
exclaimed, — 

" You may say as much as you like, Ulysses, 
about Washington, but he was nothing better than 
a rebel. He fought against his king." 

"Now, Jack," returned Grant quickly, "you 
must stop talking like that, or I '11 give you a 
thrashing. Mother says I must not fight, but must 
forgive my enemies. You may abuse me as much 
as you please ; but if you abuse Washington, I'll 
just take ofF my coat and thrash you, though you 


were ten times my cousin, and then motner may 
whip me afterwards as much as she likes." 

Jack, however, was not inclined to retract his 
words, and the two boys at last came to hard blows. 

Ulysses got the best of it, but came home with 
some suspicious marks upon his face. 

"So, young man," exclaimed his mother, "you 
have been fighting, notwithstanding all I have said 
to you about it ! " 

Ulysses, with his usual straightforwardness, told 
the whole story, but his mother still felt that he 
ought to be punished for disobeying her. The 
father, however, appreciating the boy's spirit, in- 

"I tell thee what it is, wife," he remarked, "the 
boy does not deserve to be punished. He has only 
stood up for his country, and he that, as a boy, 
will stand up and fight in defence of the honor and 
integrity of the name of Washington, will rise, if 
God spares his life, to be a man, and a Christian 

Years after, when the two cousins met in Can- 
ada, Jack, then a fine-looking man, exclaimed, — 

"I say, U. S., do you remember the thrashing 
you gave me at school for calling Washington a 

"Yes," replied Grant with a laugh, "and I 
would do it again under the same circumstances." 

The school where Ulysses and his cousin studied 


together was of a very ordinary stamp ; but when 
Grant was fifteen, he was sent to the seminary of 
Maysville, in Kentucky. His teacher here, Mr. 
N. W. Eicheson, declares that he ranked well in 
all his studies, and that his deportment was excep- 
tionally good. Several years after leaving the 
seminary, Grant called upon his former teacher, 
remarking that he could n't think of passing Mays- 
ville without seeing him. 




"\TOUNG GRANT'S father, having a strong de- 
-*- sire that his son should become a soldier, 
obtained for him admission into the United States 
Military Academy at West Point, in 1839, through 
the influence of the late General Thomas L. Ha- 
mer, at that time a member of Congress from his 
native State of Ohio. The name of the young cadet 
was entered upon the books as Ulysses S. Grant. 
This mistake probably arose from the fact of his 
having a younger brother by the name of Simpson, 
which was also his mother's name before her mar- 
riage. His schoolmates at West Point, reading 
the initials U. S., immediately nicknamed him 
"Uncle Sam," a cognomen he never lost amono- his 
army friends. After several ineffectual attempts 
to have the mistake rectified, Grant finally kept 
the new name, and it is as "Ulysses S." — not 
"Hiram U." — that the world has known him. 

The young cadet made praiseworthy progress in 
his studies, especially mathematics. He was now 
seventeen years of age, and had passed a favorable 


examination, both physical and mental, in the re- 
quirements necessary to his training as a soldier. 
The studies of the fourth class, into which he was 
admitted, consisted largely of mathematics, but 
also included etymological and rhetorical exercises, 
composition, declamation, geography, French, and 
the use of small arms. 

Part of the summer months the cadets are 
obliged to live in tents, as if on a field ; and, as a 
private of the battalion, young Grant had to sub- 
mit to all the inconveniences that privates in camp 
have to sutler. 

The next year, 1840, he was promoted to the 
third class, where he ranked as corporal in the 
cadet battalion ; and his studies consisted of higher 
mathematics, French, drawing, and the duties of 
a cavalry soldier. This last study gave him prac- 
tical instruction for sixteen weeks in horsemanship. 

In the second class, which he entered in 1841, he 
took the rank of sergeant of cadets, and his studies 
became more and more difficult. lie made steady 
progress, however, in the studies of natural and 
experimental philosophy, chemistry and drawing, 
and passed out of this class with much credit. 

The next year, as a member of the senior class, 
he ranked as a commissioned officer of cadets, and 
was Jirst put into the position where he could learn 
how to command a section, troop, or company. 
"While holding this position, a trying one for all 


cadets, Grant showed the real nobility of his na- 
ture. He was no spy upon the actions of those 
who, for the time being, were his subordinates, 
nor did he act the part of a petty tyrant. Out of 
camp he never assumed authority, — was nothing 
more than a fellow-cadet ; but in the camp he al- 
ways commanded the respect which was due to his 
position. During this last year at West Point he 
was engaged in the studies of civil and military 
engineering, both theoretical and practical, ethics, 
constitutional, international, and military law. He 
also perfected himself in horsemanship, and soon 
gained the reputation of being one of the best 
riders in the academy. Instruction was likewise 
received this last year in ordnance, gunnery, and 
cavalry tactics. Grant graduated from West Point 
on the 30th of June, 1843, in a class of thirty- 
eight, — his own standing being number twenty- 
one, among the "middle" men of his class. 

A characteristic anecdote is told of Grant while 
in his freshman year at West Point. A number 
of practical jokes had been played upon him, all 
of which he had endured with great patience and 
no show of resentment. But at leno-th he crew tired 
of this persistent bullying, and one day when the 
cadets were beginning to play some of their old 
tricks upon him, in one of their mock parades, 
Grant stepped out of the ranks, threw off his jack- 
et, and said, — 


"Now, captain, drop your rank for a few min- 
utes and stand up fair and square, and we '11 soon 
see who is the best man." 

The challenge was accepted by the captain, who 
was soon soundly whipped. 

"It is now your turn, lieutenant," said Grant, 
"to revenge the captain, if you can." 

He accepted, and received the same Me as his 

"Who is next?" called out Grant. "I want 
peace, and I am willing to fight all the company, 
one by one, to gain that peace. I have no ill will 
against any one ; but I must and will have peace 
in the future." 

Cheer upon cheer followed this demonstration 
of pluck, and then all the parties came forward 
and gave Grant a hearty hand-shake. 

"You '11 do," said the captain, still aching from 
his late thrashing. 

"We won't bother you any more," echoed the 
whole company, as Grant put on his coat and took 
his place in the ranks. 

This little episode in his life at West Point gave 
him the sobriquet of " Company Grant," which 
clung to him for years after. 

Among Grant's classmates at West Point was 
William Benjamin Franklin, who graduated num- 
ber one, and afterward entered the Topographical 
Engineer Corps. At the beginning of the civil 


war he held the rank of general, and commanded 
the Nineteenth Army Corps in the Department of 
the Gulf, under General Banks. 

Then there was William F. Raynolds, who grad- 
uated fifth in the class, entered the infantry ser- 
vice, and was appointed an aid on the staff of 
General Fremont, commanding the Mountain De- 
partment ; Isaac F. Quimby, who entered the 
artillery service,. was professor for a time at West 
Point, and, when the war broke out, went to the 
field at the head of a regiment of New York vol- 
unteers, and was afterwards made a brigadier- 
general in the Army of the Potomac ; Roswell S. 
Ripley, who wrote a history of the war with 
Mexico ; John P. Johnstone, the brave artillery 
lieutenant who lost his life at Contreras, Mexico ; 
Joseph Jones Reynold, who served on the staff of 
the general commanding the Army of the Cumber- 
land, until Grant assumed command of the united 
departments of Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland ; 
Lieutenant George Stevens, who was drowned in 
the passage of the Rio Grande ; and the gallant 
General Frederick Steele, who took part in the 
Vicksburg and Mississippi campaigns as division 
and corps commander under General Grant, and 
afterwards commanded the army of Arkansas. 

A number of Grant's classmates were dropped 
from the rolls of the United States army, and en- 
tered the rebel service, at the breakin^-out of the 


civil war; .some of them resigned their positions, 
and retired to private life ; and not a few lost their 
lives in the Mexican war, as we have already 
stated, among whom Lieutenant Theodore L. Chad- 
bourne deserves especial mention. This latter 
officer was killed in the battle of Resaca de la 
Palma, May 9, 1846, after distinguishing himself 
for his bravery at the head of his command. 

Lieutenant Booker died while in service at San 
Antonio, Tex. ; Lieutenant Lewis Xeill died at 
Fort Croghan ; Lieutenant Robert Hazlitt lost his 
life at the storming of Monterey ; Lieutenant Edwin 
Howe died at Fort Leavenworth ; and Lieutenant 
Charles E. James, at Sonoma, Cal. 




TTPON his graduation, Grant at once entered 
^ the United States Regular Army as a brevet 
second lieutenant of the Fourth Infantry. This 
company was then stationed on the frontier in Mis- 
souri and Missouri Territory, which was at that 
time an almost untrodden wilderness to the white 
man, and infested by hostile tribes of Indians. 

Young Grant, while in this part of the West, 
was of great assistance to his military companions, 
not only in protecting the early settlers along the 
banks of the great rivers, but in engineering the 
opening of the country. 

He had not been many months in the service, 
however, before he was ordered with his regiment 
into Texas, to join General Taylor, who had been 
appointed to the command of the United States 
troops in that republic. This was in the year 1845. 
An imaginary line of boundary between Mexico 
and the United States lay in the territory of what is 
now known as the State of Texas. This line was a 
constant source of dispute between the two coun- 


tries ; and, after a series of petty struggles, Gen- 
eral Taylor learned that a large force of Mexicans 
were marching northward with the intention of 
crossing the Rio Grande into Texas, and driving 
the Americans from that part of the territory. 

Fort Brown, on the Texas shore of the Rio 
Grande, was the first military post besieged by 
the Mexicans, and, to relieve the brave American 
garrison stationed there, General Taylor at once 
proceeded thither with his troops. This was the 
first battle-ground of Lieutenant Grant, who took 
a gallant part in the struggle of Palo Alto, on the 
8th of May, 1846. 

Corpus Christi, an important port on the Texas 
shore, had been taken possession of by the Ameri- 
cans as a base of operations, and it was here that 
Grant was stationed when he received his commis- 
sion as full second lieutenant of infantry. 

This occurred on the 30th day of September, 
1845, and was made out for a vacancy in the 
Seventh Regiment of United States Regular Infan- 
try. Grant had, however, become so attached to 
the members of the Fourth* Regiment, that a request 
was forwarded to Washington to allow him to be 
retained with that division ; and in the month of 
November following, he received a commission 
which appointed him a full second lieutenant in 
the Fourth Regiment of United States Regular 


On the 9th day of May, 1846, the battle of Ke- 
saca de la Pal ma was fought, and Fort Brown was 
relieved of the besieging Mexicans, Avho now 
rushed across the Rio Grande in full retreat. 

Young Lieutenant Grant not only distinguished 
himself in these first contests, but accompanied 
General Taylor in his brilliant exploits up the Rio 
Grande and into the Mexican territory at New 
Leon, over a hundred miles from the mouth of 
the river. 

The storming of Monterey occurred on the 23d 
of September, 1846, and Grant took part in this 
daring engagement. The post was very strongly 
fortified, but General Taylor was determined to 
drive the Mexicans out of their intrenchments, and 
finally succeeded. 

War had now been regularly declared by Con- 
gress, and a systematic plan of attack laid out. 
The grand movement by way of Vera Cruz threw 
the northern route into a secondary rank ; and the 
army and navy both, were now to be brought into 
active use. 

After General Scott had accomplished a landing, 
just above Vera Cruz, a part of the troops on the 
Rio Grande were ordered down that river to unite 
their forces with his. Among these companies 
was the Fourth Infantry ; and Lieutenant Grant, 
accompanying his regiment, was now transferred 
from General Taylor's command to that under 


"Winfield Scott. He was therefore a participant 
in the obstinate siege Which finally resulted in the 
surrender of Vera Cruz, on the 29th of March, 

During the early part of the following month, 
when the army was preparing to advance into the 
centre of the Mexican country, Grant was ap- 
pointed quartermaster of his regiment, — a post 
of honor, and of great importance to an army in a 
strange country. His commanding officers had at 
last perceived that Lieutenant Grant possessed 
more than ordinary abilities, and this position of 
quartermaster he held during the remainder of 
the Mexican campaign. 

At the battle of Molino del Rey, on the 8th of 
September, 1847, Grant showed such remarkable 
bravery, that he was appointed on the field a first 
lieutenant, to date from the day of that battle. 
Congress afterwards offered to confirm the ap- 
pointment as a mere brevet, but Grant refused to 
accept it under such circumstances. 

On the 18th day of September, 1847, occurred 
the battle of Chapultepec, in which Lieutenant 
Grant behaved with the most distinguished aral- 

In the report of Captain Horace Brooks, Second 
Artillery, of the battle of Chapultepec, he says, — 

"I succeeded in reaching the fori with a few 
men. Here Lieutenant U. S. Grant, and a few 


more men of the Fourth Infantry, found me, and 
by a joint movement, after an obstinate resistance, 
a' strong field-work was carried, and the enemy's 
right was completely turned." 

Major Francis Lee, commanding the Fourth In- 
fantry at the battle of Chapultepec, says, — 

" At the first barrier the enemy was in strong 
force, which rendered it necessary to advance with 
caution. This was done, and, when the head of 
the battalion was within short muske-trange of the 
barrier, Lieutenant Grant, Fourth Infantry, and 
Captain Brooks, Second Artillery, with a few men 
of their respective regiments, by a handsome move- 
ment to the left, turned the right flank of the 
enemy, and the barrier was carried. . . . Second 
Lieutenant Grant behaved with distinguished gal- 
lantry on the 13th and 14th." 

The report of Brevet Colonel John Garland, 
commanding the First Brigade, says of the battle 
of Chapultepec, — 

" The rear of the enemy had made a stand be- 
hind a breastwork, from which they were driven 
by detachments of the Second Artillery under 
Captain Brooks, and the Fourth Infantry under 
Lieutenant Grant, supported by other regiments 
of the division, after a short but sharp conflict. 
... I recognized the command as it came up, 
mounted a howitzer on the top of a convent, 
which, under the direction of Lieutenant Grant, 


quartermaster of the Fourth Infantry, and Lieu- 
tenant Lendrum, Third Artillery, annoyed the 
enemy considerably. ... I must not omit to call 
attention to Lieutenant Grant, Fourth Infantry, 
who acquitted himself most nobly upon several 
occasions under my own observation." 

General Worth's report, also, of" Sept. 16, speaks 
very highly of the bravery of Lieutenant Grant. 

For his gallant and meritorious conduct in the 
battle of Chapultepcc, Lieutenant Grant received 
the brevet of captain of the regular army, — his 
rank to date from Sept. .13, 1847, the day of the 

The brevet was awarded to him in 1849 ; the 
nomination sent to Congress during the session of 
1849-50, and confirmed during the next session. 

On the 16th day of September, 1847, the gal- 
lant second lieutenant was appointed a first lieu- 
tenant in the Fourth Regiment of regular infan- 
try. — still holding his brevet rank of captain, 
dated three days previous. 




A T the close of the Mexican Avar, Grant came 
-*-*- home with his regiment, the Fourth Regular 

Infantry, and disembarked at New York. The 
troops were divided into different companies, and 
scattered along the various frontier defences along 
the borders of Michigan and the State of New 

In 1850-51 the gold-fever in California had at- 
tracted to that region a heterogeneous population, 
among whom were many desperadoes who set at 
naught all moral and civil laws. To check their 
infamous doings, and also to restrain the Indians 
from murderous assaults upon peaceful and law- 
abiding citizens, the government ordered troops to 
that part of the country. Among these military 
companies, the battalion to which Lieutenant Grant 
was attached was sent to Fort Dallas in Oregon. 

It was while engaged in duty at this post that 
Grant received his full promotion to captain of 
infantry, — his commission dating from August, 


The country was now at peace ; and Grant, think- 
ing that he could make more progress in civil than 
in military life, resigned his connection with the 
United States army on the 31st day of July, 1854. 

In 1848 he had married Julia T. Dent, the 
eldest daughter of Frederick Dent, a merchant of 
St. Louis ; and, after resigning his commission in 
the army, he purchased a small farm at Gravois. a 
few miles from St. Louis. 

Here he was in the habit of cutting the superflu- 
ous wood upon his little clearing, drawing it him- 
self to Carondelet, and selling it in the market 

" Many of his purchasers," writes one who knew 
him well at this period of his life, " like to call to 
mind that they had a cord of wood delivered in 
person by the great General Grant. 

" When he came into the wood-market he was 
usually dressed in an old felt hat, with a blouse 
coat, and his trousers tucked into the tops of his 
boots. In truth, he bore the appearance of a stur- 
dy, honest woodman. 

" This was his winters work. In the summer 
he turned a collector of debts ; but for this he was 
not qualified. He had a noble and truthful soul : 
so, when he was told that the debtor had no money, 
he believed him, and would not trouble the debtor 
again. This circumstance was mentioned by one 
of the leading merchants of St. Louis. 


"Honest, truthful, and indefatigable, ho was al- 
ways at work upon something; but lie did not 
seem to possess the knack of making money, lie 
was honorable, for he always repaid borrowed 
money; and his habits of life were hardy, inex- 
pensive, and simple." 

During the year 1859, Grant entered into part- 
ner-hip with his father in the leather trade. Their 
business was located in the city of Galena, Jo 
Daviess County, 111., and it was here that Grant 
now removed his family. This pleasant city is 
built upon a bluff on the Fevre River, about six 
miles above the point where it empties into the 
Mississippi. The streets rise one above the other, 
often communicating by flight- of steps, and it was 
at the top of one of these picturesque hills that 
the unpretentious home of Grant was situated. He 
was now about thirty-nine years of age ; and of his 
four children, the eldest was eleven years old. 
Galena, being a sort of business centre to the States 
of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, is a place of 
considerable importance ; and this leather-house of 
Grant & Son soon promised to be a decidedly pros- 
perous concern. 

When Grant was at Vicksburg, some fiery poli- 
ticians from Illinois tried to draw him into a dis- 
cussion relative to the state of the various political 
parties of the country. Grant, however, with his 
usual reticence, refused to express his views. One 


of the party thereupon began to use all his per- 
suasive powers to inveigle the general into some 
expression of his opinions. 

The patience of the latter was exasperated, and 
he suddenly exclaimed, — 

"There is no use talking politics to me. I know 
nothing about them ; and, furthermore, I do not 
know of any person among my acquaintances who 
does. But," he continued, " there is one subject 
with which I am perfectly acquainted : talk of that, 
and I am your man/' 

"Why, what is that?" exclaimed the astonished 

" Tanning leather," was the quiet reply. 

It is needless to say that Grant was not troubled 
with further political discussions by his Illinois 




TTTHEX the startling news from Fort Sumter 
W came, on the 13th of April, 1861, Grant, a 
private citizen, was still living with his family 
in Galena, 111. In response to the President's 
call for troops, two days later, he wrote a letter 
to the adjutant-general of the army, in which he 
offered his services to the government in whatever 
capacity he could be of use. He had already 
organized and drilled a company of volunteers at 
Galena, and marched with them to Springfield, the 
capital of the State. To his letter he received no 
reply ; but about a month after, the governor, Hon. 
Richard Yates, offered him the Twenty-first Regi- 
ment of Illinois. Grant took command of his regi- 
ment in June, and marched immediately to Missouri. 
Here he reported to Brigadier-General Pope, by 
whom he was stationed at Mexico, some fifty miles 
north of the Missouri River. Two months later he 
was commissioned by the President, brigadier-gen- 
eral of volunteers, to date from May 17. This was 
a genuine surprise to him. His promotion had been 


unanimously recommended by the members of 
Congress from Illinois, although not one of them 
had any personal acquaintance with him, and his 
first knowledge of the fact came to him from the 
newspapers of the day. 

It will be remembered that during the civil war 
the country was divided by the government into 
military departments, the boundaries of which were 
repeatedly changed. At this time the State of 
Illinois, and the States and Territories west of the 
Mississippi River, and east of the Eocky Moun- 
tains, constituted the western department, of 
which Major-General Fremont was in command. 
Early in August, Grant was transferred by Fre- 
mont to Ironton, Mo., and a fortnight after- 
wards to Jefferson City, in the same State. The 
following month, by direction of Fremont, he 
took command of the district of Southeast Mis- 
souri, and made his headquarters at Cairo, at the 
mouth of the Ohio. This was a most important 
district, as it included the junction of the four great 
rivers, — Tennessee, Cumberland, Ohio, and Missis- 

The first achievement of General Grant was the 
seizure of Paducah, at the mouth of the Tennessee. 
The Governor of Kentucky was endeavoring to 
keep the State in a position of armed neutrality. 
General Polk, however, who commanded the rebels 
in that quarter, violated this neutrality by seizing 


Columbus and Hickman on the Mississippi, and 
threatening Paducah, within three days after Grant 
assumed his new command. All these places were 
of military importance, especially Paducah, which 
completely commands the navigation of both the 
Tennessee and Ohio rivers. 

Fremont had already ordered a movement in 
Missouri under the superintendence of Grant, and 
also the construction of Fort Holt on the Ken- 
tucky shore ; but, when Grant heard of the advance 
of Folk, he at once notified his commanding officer 
and the Kentucky legislature at Frankfort, tele- 
graphing Fremont at St. Louis : " I am getting 
ready to go to Paducah. Will start at six and 
a half o'clock." Later in the day he wrote : "I 
am now nearly ready for Paducah, should not 
telegraph arrive, preventing the movement." 

As no reply came, Grant started that night 
about half past ten o'clock, taking Avith him two 
regiments, a light battery, and two gunboats. At 
Mound City he was delayed by an accident to one 
of his transports, but reached Paducah at half past 
eight on the following morning. While he was 
getting ashore, Brigadier-General Tilghman and his 
staff, of the rebel army, with a company of recruits, 
were hurrying out of the town by railroad : so 
Paducah was seized without a gun being fired. 
Grant's prompt movement had so intimidated the 
rebels, that he had now full control of the Ohio 


Eiver; and the State legislature, although it 
rebuked General Grant for writing to that august 
body, at once passed resolutions favorable to the 
Union, and no more was heard of the neutrality of 
Kentucky. After leaving a sufficient garrison to 
hold the town, Grant returned to Cairo, where he 
received Fremont's permission to take Paducah, 
"if he felt strong enough." 

For the following two months Grant was sta- 
tioned at the junction of the great rivers, and al- 
lowed by his commanding officer to make no move- 
ment of any importance. Several times he sug- 
gested the possibility of capturing Columbus, an 
important position on the east bank of the Missis- 
sip})!, some twenty miles below Cairo, and once 
wrote to Fremont : " If it was discretionary with 
me, with a little addition to my present force, I 
would take Columbus." 

No notice, however, was taken of this letter. 
Just opposite Columbus, on the west bank, was 
Belmont, a small post fortified only by a sort of 
abatis. The rebels were constantly exchanging 
troops between these two posts, hindering the navi- 
gation of the river, and making this point one of 
their strongest works on the Mississippi. 

A number of weeks after Grant's proposition, 
during which time the rebels had become greatly 
strengthened at Columbus, a command was given 
by Fremont to make a demonstration towards this 


post. By so doing, the Confederate troops would 
be drawn off from Price, whom Fremont himself 
was eon front ins:. 

On the evening of the fith of November, Grant 
started down the river with three thousand one 
hundred and fourteen men on transports, and under 
convoy of two gunboats. After proceeding about 
nine miles, he made a feint of landing on the Ken- 
tucky shore ; and, receiving intelligence about day- 
break that the rebels had been crossing troops 
from Columbus to Belmont, he saw that prompt 
action was now necessary to prevent any further 
effort of the Confederates to re-enforce Price, or to 
interrupt the progress of Oglesby. It would not 
do to remain at Belmont, which is on low ground, 
and directly under the guns at Columbus. Grant's 
plan was just to destroy the camps, take the 
enemy captives or disperse them, and then hurry 
away before the garrison could be re-enforced by 
the rebels. Early that morning, therefore, the 
troops debarked at Hunter's Point on the Missouri 
side, and marched directly towards Belmont. The 
country around this post is partially wooded, and 
in many places swampy, which difficulties were 
quickly taken advantage of by the rebels. Grant 
ordered his whole force forward as skirmishers, 
except one battalion, which was held in reserve near 
the landing, as a guard to the transports. For 
nearly four hours there was heavy fighting. Grant 


had his own horse shot under him, and Mc- 
Clernand lost three. The bravery of the officers 
stimulated the raw recruits, some of whom had been 
in the service only a couple of days ; and they 
fought with such vigor that the rebels were driven, 
foot by foot, to the bank of the river, where several 
hundred were taken prisoners. Grant's men then 
charged through the abatis, captured all the artillery 
and broke up the rebel camp. Elated, however, 
by their success, they became disorganized, and, 
instead of pursuing the enemy, began to plunder, 
and behave like so many school-boys. Grant had 
already descried the rebel transports carrying 
crowds of troops over from Columbus, and was 
anxious to get back to his own steamers before the 
arrival of these re-enforcements. Mean while the 
defeated rebels had re-organized with three fresh 
regiments, and now barred the way to the river. 

" We are surrounded ! " was the sudden cry of 
the stupid recruits. 

"Well," said Grant, "if that is so, we must cut 
our way out as we cut our way in." 

The men did not lack bravery, but seemed to 
think, that, being surrounded, there was nothing 
to do but surrender. 

" We have whipped them once, and I think we 
can do it again," added Grant, as he led his troops 
forward. After a feeble resistance, the rebel line 
dispersed a second time, and fled behind the banks. 


Grant now saw the importance of getting his forces 
on board the transports, and sent a detachment to 
gather up the wounded. Owing to the inexperi- 
ence of his officers, he had to superintend the exe- 
cution of his own orders, and at one time found 
himself completely outside of his own troops. The 
rebel line was in a corn-field not fifty yards dis- 
tant when Grant rode up to save the parties who 
Avere still out in search of the wounded. Fortu- 
nately he wore a private's overcoat, as it was a 
damp, chilly morning, and he was not recognized. 
The following day Grant met, under a flag of truce, 
an old West Point comrade who laid become a 
rebel. He mentioned having ridden out near the 
rebel line the day before. 

"Why! was that you?" exclaimed the ofiicer. 
" We saw you, and General Polk called to some of 
his troops, 'There, men, is a Yankee, if you want 
to try your aim ;' but everyone then was intent on 
hitting the transports." 

The battle of Belmont was of course regarded 
by the enemy as a rebel victory, yet by theiy own 
accounts they had twice as many troops as Grant, 
and lost a third more. 

It has often been said by many who appreciated 
the military genius of Grant, as shown in subse- 
quent battles, that he ought to be forgiven for 
the disaster at Belmont ; but even here he accom- 
plished more than he was sent to do, and the in- 



fluence of the fight upon his undisciplined troops 
was in every way most beneficial. They acquired 
in that one battle courage, confidence, and dis- 
cretion, and the " Belmont men " were known long 
afterwards as among the bravest soldiers in the 
Tennessee army. 




n^TTO days after the battle of Belmont, Fremont 
-*~ was superseded by Major-General Henry W. 
Halleck, who took command of the new depart- 
ment of the Missouri, including Arkansas and that 
part of Kentucky which lies west of the Cumber- 
land. Grant was confirmed in the command to 
which he had been assigned by Fremont, but its 
designation was> the district of Cairo, 
and included Paducah. For the subsequent two 
months, Grant was employed in organizing- and dis- 
ciplining his troops, although the battle of Belmont 
had confirmed him in the belief, that, when neither 
party is well disciplined, there is nothing to be 
gained by delay. 

Early in January, 1862, he received orders to 
move a force of six thousand men, under McCler- 
nand, towards Mayfield and Murray, in West Ken- 
tucky, and two brigades from Paducah, under C. 
F. Smith, to threaten Columbus and the rebel line 
between that place and Bowling Green. 

"The object," said Halleck, "is to prevent re- 



enforcements being sent to Buckner," who was 
then in command near Bowling Green. 

This expedition occupied more than a week ; and, 
although there was no fighting, the troops suffered 
not a little from cold, and exposure to a fearful j 

storm of rain and snow. The object of the dem- \ 

onstration, however, was accomplished, and Smith 
on his return reported the feasibility of the cap- 
ture of Fort Henry. After several ineffectual at- | 
tempts to broach the subject with Halleck, Grant 
telegraphed to St. Louis as follows : — 

"With permission, I will take and hold Fort 
Henry on the Tennessee, and establish and hold a 
large camp there ; " and on the following day he 
wrote, — j 

" In view of the large .force now concentrating 
in this district, and the present feasibility of the 
plan, I would respectfully suggest the propriety 
of subduing Fort Henry, near the Kentucky and 
Tennessee line, and holding the position. If this 
is not done soon, there is but little doubt that the 
defences on both the Tennessee and Cumberland 
rivers will be materially strengthened. From 
Fort Henry, it will be easy to operate either on the 
Cumberland (only twelve miles distant), Memphis, 
or Columbus. It will, besides, have a moral effect 
upon our troops to advance thence towards the 
rebel States. The advantages of this move are as 
perceptible to the general commanding as to my- 


self: therefore further statements are unneces- 

On the same day, Commodore Foote, command- 
ing the naval force in this quarter, wrote to Hal- 
leck, — ft General Grant and myself are of opinion 
that Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, can he 
carried with four ironclad gunboats and troops to 
permanently occupy. Have we your authority to 
move for that purpose when ready ? " 

Halleck gave the desired permission, and, on tha 
2d of February, Grant started from Cairo with 
seventeen thousand men on transports. Foote, 
with seven gunboats, accompanied him ; and the 
debarkation began on the 4th, at Bailey's Ferry, 
which is on the east bank, three miles below Fort 
He my. 

Fortifications had been erected by the rebels 
upon both sides of the river, and the garrison con- 
sisted of two thousand seven hundred and thirty- 
four men, under the command of Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Tilghman. On the eastern bank was a strono- 
field-work with bastioned front, defended by sev- 
enteen heavy guns; on the land front was an 
intrenched camp, and outside of this a long line of 
rifle-pits. The Confederates well knew°the im- 
portance of Fort Henry on the Tennessee, and 
Fort Donelson on the Cumberland. Together, 
they completely barred the navigation of the riv- 
ers, and covered the great railroad line of commu- 


nication from east to west through the border 
States. Their possession, in fact, determined the 
fate of Kentucky and Tennessee. 

As soon as the rebels perceived the meaning of 
Grant's movements, they made immediate prepa- 
rations to resist him. The overflow of the Tennes- 
see River at this time greatly impeded the move- 
ments of both the rebel and the national forces, 
and Grant was unable to get all his troops ashore 
until late in the evening of the following day. 

A little before noon, on the 6th of February, the 
gunboats attacked the water batteries at a distance 
of six hundred yards. 

For an hour and a half the storming of the fort 
was carried on with vigor, no vessel receiving- 
serious damage but the " Essex." At the end of that 
time every gun was silenced by the naval force, 
and the fort surrendered at discretion. Tilghman 
was taken prisoner with his staff, and the sixty 
men who had been retained to work the guns. 
The remainder of the garrison had been sent on 
to Fort Donelson. 

Grant at once telegraphed to Halleck, — 

"Fort Henry is ours. The gunboats silenced 
the batteries before the investment was completed. 
... I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on 
the 8th, and return to Fort Henry." 

The heavy rains, however, and the inundation 
of the Tennessee, delayed him for a number of 


"At present," he wrote, "we are perfectly 
locked in. The banks are higher at the water's 
edge than farther back, leaving a wide margin of 
low land to bridge over, before anything can be 
done inland." On the 8th, he wrote, — 

"I contemplated taking Fort Donelson to-day 
with infantry and cavalry alone ; but all my troops 
may be kept busily engaged in saving what we now 
have from the rapidly rising water." 

General Halleck's orders at this time were wholly 
of a defensive character. His chief thought was 
to strengthen Fort Henry ; but while he was writ- 
ing about picks and shovels, Grant, tired of wait- 
ing for re-enforcements, wrote to Commodore 
Foote, — 

" I have been waiting very patiently for the 
return of the gunboats under Commodore Phelps 
to go around on the Cumberland, whilst I marched 
my land forces across, to make a simultaneous at- 
tack upon Fort Donelson. I feel that there should 
be no delay in this matter, and yet I do not feel 
justified in going without some of your gunboats 
to co-operate. Can you not send two boats from 
Cairo immediately up the Cumberland ? " 

" Start as soon as you like," was the reply. " I 
will be ready to co-operate at any moment." 

On the 11th, Foote started with his ileet by the 
Ohio and Cumberland rivers, and on the same day 
troops under McClernand moved out a few miles 


on the two roads leading to Fort Donelson. Early 
on the following morning the main column of 
Grant's men, numbering fifteen thousand, marched 
from Fort Henry, leaving a garrison there of 
twenty-five hundred men. The forward brigade 
was ordered to move by the telegraph road, halt- 
ing about two miles from the fort, to receive fur- 
ther directions ; the other brigades were to move 
by the Dover road, halting at the same distance, 
and forming a continuous line with the other wing. 

Fort Donelson, which was only twelve miles 
from Fort Henry, was at that time one of the 
strongest works held by the Confederates. It was 
situated on a series of hills, some of which rose 
abruptly to the height of a hundred feet, and 
every advantage had been taken of its rugged and 
inaccessible character. The main fort was about 
three quarters of a mile from the breastworks, 
covered a hundred acres of ground, and was de- 
fended by fifteen heavy guns and two cannonades. 
On the hillsides towards the Cumberland, water 
batteries had been sunk to control the navigation 
of the river, and the whole amount of rebel artil- 
lery was sixty-five pieces. The garrison numbered 
about twenty-one thousand men. 

Soon after mid-day, on the 12th, Grant's men 
appeared in front of the rebel lines. General 
Smith had command of the left wing, and McCler- 
nand the right, of the national troops. The fol- 


lowing day was spent in reconnoitring the ground, 
waiting for re-enforcements and the arrival of gun- 
boats. That night the thermometer fell to ten 
decrees below zero, and towards morning the suf- 
ferings of the shelterless troops was increased by 
a severe storm of snow and hail. Many of the 
soldiers on both sides were frozen to death. 

On Friday, the 14th, Commodore Foote arrived 
with his gunboats ; and on the afternoon of that day 
the ironclads attacked the fort, at a distance of 
about four hundred yards. As the rebel batteries 
were elevated some thirty feet above the river, and 
secured by traverses against an enfilading fire, this 
attempt to attack them in front was as dangerous 
as it was difficult. After a hot engagement of an 
hour and a half, Foote w T as obliged to withdraw, 
havino- received a severe wound himself, and lost 
some fifty men in killed and wounded. The gun- 
boats, also, were so disabled as to unfit them for 
any further active service. 

About two o'clock the next morning, the com- 
modore sent for Grant, as he was unable himself 
to come ashore, and reported to him the enfeebled 
condition of his fleet. While this conference was 
taking place on board the flag-ship, a large detach- 
ment of the rebels came out of their fortifications 
and made a fierce assault upon McClernand's divi- 
sion. General Lewis Wallace came up to the sup- 
port from the centre, and a vigorous battle was 



fought upon both sides. The Federal troops were 
becoming greatly disordered when Grant appeared 
upon the scene of action. Like all raw recruits, 
they imagined the enemy to be coming down upon 
them in overpowering numbers, and thought they 
meant to continue the assault for several days. 

" Are their haversacks tilled ? " was Grant's first 

Some of the prisoners were examined, and three 
days' rations found in their haversacks. 

" That means that they mean to cut their way 
out ; they have no idea of staying here to light 
us," said Grant ; then, looking at the panic-strick- 
en men, he added : "whichever party first attacks 
now, Avill whip, and the rebels will have to be very 
quick, if they beat me." 

The real object of the Confederates, as afterward 
seen from their reports, was, as Grant surmised, 
to destroy the right wing of the national line, roll- 
ing it back on the left, and thus opening a way for 
themselves to Nashville. 

Spurring his horse, Grant hurried to the left wing 
of his army and ordered an immediate assault. At 
the same time he sent a request to Commodore 
Foote to have all the gunboats make their appear- 
ance to the enemy. 

"A terrible conflict," he wrote, " ensued in my 
absence, which has demoralized a portion of my 
command, and I think the enemy is much more so. 



lelt'imboats do not appear, it will reassure the 
ny, and still further demoralize our troops. I 
.,ust order a charge to save appearances. I do 
not expect the gunboats to go into action." 

Foote at once sent up the river two of the fleet 
[hat threw a few guns at long range. Smith, who 
commanded the left wing, was supported by Mc- 
Clernand and Wallace, although the troops of these 
two officers had already been hotly engaged in the 
early part of the day. A spirited contest ensued, 
and the rebels were soon driven inside the fort. 
Darkness came down upon them before the battle 
' j was decided, but inside the fort a strange confer- 
ence was taking place. The rebel commander, 
Floyd, had called together his chief officers, not 
i only to propose the surrender of the post, but also 
. to consult them about the propriety of escaping, 
himself, by flight. Buckner, who acknowledged 
the necessity of a surrender, added that the deser- 
tion of his troops was a question that each man 
must decide for himself. Pillow, however, de- 
clared his determination to follow the example of 
Floyd, saying that "there were no two men in the 
confederacy the Yankees would rather capture than 

So, for "personal reasons that controlled them," 
Floyd transferred the command to Pillow, and the 
latter officer put everything into Buckner's hands, 
who was a true soldier in every sense of the word, 


50 LIFE OF GEN". U. S. GliANT. 

and resolved to stand by his troops to n e 

While Floyd and Pillow, with all the cava,,, 
were making their flight under cover of the dark) 
ness, Buckner sent a messenger to Grant, pre 
posing an armistice till twelve o'clock, and i\> 
appointment of commissioners to settle terms o? 

Grant was all ready to storm the intrench- 
ments when this message came, and the white flao- 
was hoisted on Fort Donelson. His reply wa 
short and to the point : — 

"No terms except unconditional and immediate surrer 
der can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon 
your works." 

Buckner's answer was as follows : — 

"The disposition of forces under my command, incidon 
to an unexpected change of commanders, and the ovei 
whelming force under your command, compel me, notwitl 
standing the brilliant success of the Confederate arms yes 
terday, to accept the ungenerous and unchivalrous terms 
which you propose." 

Grant immediately mounted his horse, and rode 
to the headquarters of the rebel commander. He 
and Buckner had been school friends at West} 
Point, and he now assured that officer that he had 
no desire to humiliate his prisoners. Horses and 
all public property must be given up ; but the offi- 
cers would be allowed to keep their side arms, and 


all personal baggage would remain untouched. 
As they were talking over the siege together, 
Buckner remarked, "If I had been in command 
at the Bginning, you would n't have reached Fort 
Doneb 1 so easily." 

"No," replied Grant, " if you had been in com- 
mand, I should have waited for re-enforcements, 
and marched from Fort Henry in greater strength ; 
but I knew that Pillow would not come out of his 
works to fight, and told my staff so, though I 
believed he would fight behind his works." 

By the surrender of Fort Donelson, sixty-five 
guns, seventeen thousand six hundred small arms 
and nearly fifteen thousand troops fell into the 
hands of the Union forces. The rebels in their 
official reports declared emphatically that it was 
the last assault from the left wing of Grant's 
army which turned the scale ; and General Cullum, 
Halleck's chief of staff, wrote to Grant as follows : — 

" I received with the highest gratification your reports 
and letters from Fort Donelson, so gallantly captured under 
your hrilliant leadership. I, in common with the whole 
country, warmly congratulate you upon this remarkable 

The Secretary of War at once recommended 
Grant for a major-general cy of volunteers, and the 
President nominated him the same day. The 
nomination was immediately confirmed by the Sen- 
ate ; and Grant was assigned the new military 


district of West Tennessee, " with limits not de- 

The capture of Fort Donelson was really the 
first national success of any importance since the 
beginning of the war. The great rebel line was 
now penetrated at the centre, and the whole of 
Kentucky and Tennessee immediately fell into the 
possession of the national forces. The Tennessee 
and Cumberland Rivers were open to navigation, 
Bowling Green was made untenable, Columbus 
was soon after evacuated, and the Mississippi 
River from St. Louis to Arkansas was now under 
the Union flao\ 





A S before stated, the limits of Grant's new 
-^ command i not been defined, and it was 
for over-stepp/ Jie unknown boundaries of this 
district that/ xeck, never over-partial to Grant, 
now found ♦ .se for his public censure. On the 
3d of Ma/ , without a word of explanation to 
Grant, P Aeck sent to the general-in-chief at 
Washington the following dispatch : — 

" I have had no communication with General Grant for 
more than a week. lie left his command without my 
authority, and went to Nashville. His army seems to be as 
much demoralized by the victory of Fort Donelson as was 
that of the Potomac by the defeat of Bull Run. It is hard 
to censure a successful general immediately after a victory, 
but I think he richly deserves it. I can get no returns, no 
reports, no information of any kind from him. Satisfied 
with his victory, he sits down and enjoys it, without any 
regard to the future. I am worn out and tired by this 
neglect and inefficiency. C. F. Smith is almost the only 
officer equal to the emergency. 1 ' 

Next day, having doubtless received authority 
from Washington, he telegraphed to Grant as 
follows : — 


"You will place Major-general C. F. Smith in command 
of expedition, and remain yourself at Fort Henry. Why do 
you not obey my orders to report strength and position of 
your command ? " 

Grant replied : — 

" Your dispatch of yesterday is just received. Troops 
will be sent under command of Major-general Smith, as 
directed. I had prepared a different plan, intending Gen- 
eral Smith to command the forces which should go to Paris 
and Humboldt, while I would command the expedition upon 
Eastport, Corinth, and Jackson, in person. ... I am not 
aware of ever having disobeyed any order from your head- 
quarters — certainly never intended such a thing. I have 
reported almost daily the condition of my command, and 
reported every position occupied. ... In conclusion, I will 
say that you may rely on my carrying out your instructions 
in every particular to the best of my ability." 

On the following day, Ilalleck telegraphed to 
Grant : — 

" General McClellan directs that you report to me daily 
the number and position of the forces under your command. 
Your neglect of repeated orders to report the strength of 
your command has created great dissatisfaction, and 
seriously interfered with military plans. Your going to 
Nashville without authority, and when your presence with 
your troops was of the utmost importance, Avas a matter of 
very serious complaint at Washington, so much so that I 
was advised to arrest you on your return.'' 

In reply, Grant telegraphed : — 

" I did all 1 could to got you returns of the strength of my 
command. Every move 1 made was reported daily to your 



chief of staff, who must have failed to keep you properly- 
posted. I have done my very best to obey orders, and to 
cany out the interests of the service. If my course is not 
satisfactory, remove me at once. I do not wish in any way 
to impede the success of our arms. I have averaged writ- 
ing more than once a day since leaving Cairo, to keep you 
informed of my position, and it is no fault of mine if you 
have not received my letters. My going to Nashville was 
strictly intended for the good of the service, and not to 
gratify any desire of my own. 

" Believing sincerely that I must have enemies between 
j'ou and myself, who are trying to impair my usefulness, I 
respectfully ask to be relieved from further duty in the de- 

Another rebuke followed from Halleck to which 
Grant replied : — 

" You had a better chance of knowing my strength whilst 
my command was surrounding Fort Donelson than I had. 
Troops were reporting daily by your order, and were imme- 
diately assigned to brigades. There were no orders re- 
ceived from you till the 28th of February to make out 
returns ; and I made every effort to get them in as early as 
possible. I renew my application to be relieved from 

Two days later Grant wrote again to Halleck : — 

" There is such a disposition to find fault with me, that I 
again ask to be relieved from further duty until I can be 
placed right in the estimation of those higher in authority." 

In reply, Halleck wrote : — 

" You cannot be relieved from your command. There is 
no jrood reason for it. I am certain that all which the au- 


thorities at "Washington ask is that you enforce discipline 
and punish the disorderly. . . Instead of relieving you, I 
wish you, as soon as your new army is in the field, to as- 
sume the immediate command, and lead it on to new vic- 

Grant's answer was as follows : — 

"After your letter enclosing copy of an anonymous 
letter, upon which severe censure was based, I felt as though 
it would be impossible to me to serve longer without a 
court of inquiry. Your telegram of yesterday, however, 
places such a different phase upon my position, that I will 
again assume command, and give every effort to the success 
of our cause. Under the worst circumstances, I would do 
the same." 

While the hero of Donelson remained in disgrace 
at Fort Henry, Smith took command of the expe- 
dition, and pushed forward the troops as far as 
Eastport, on the Tennessee. Grant, however, did 
all in his power to secure the success of this under- 
taking, and, on transferring his command to Smith, 
congratulated him heartily on his "richly merited 
promotion. No one," he added, " can feel more 
pleasure than myself." 

When Smith was informed afterward that Grant 
had been reinstated, he wrote in the same noble 
spirit : — 

" I want you to know how glad I am that you are to re- 
sume your old command, from which you were so uncere- 
moniously, and, as I think, so unjustly, stricken down." 

The relations between Grant and Smith were 


always of the pleasantest character. At West 
Point, Smith was commandant when Grant was a 
cadet. It was therefore difficult for the latter 
to give the older officer an order ; but Smith, 
observing this, said with, his usual tact and deli- 

" I am now a subordinate, and I know a soldier's duty. 
I hope you will feel no awkwardness about our new rela- 

Smith always proved himself a gallant soldier, 
but he never recovered from the exposure of those 
terrible days and nights at Fort Donelson, and died 
before another summer. 

It was on the loth of March that Grant was 
relieved from his disgrace ; four days after, he re- 
moved his headquarters to Savannah, a point about 
nine miles lower down than Pittsburg Landing, 
and on the opposite side of the river. From there 
he wrote to Sherman, at that time commandant of 
the District of Cairo : — 

" I bare just arrived, and, although sick for the last two 
weeks, begin to feel better at the thought of being again 
with the troops." 

At this time the rebels seemed to be concentrat- 
ing their forces in the neighborhood of Corinth, 
and the number of their troops was estimated by 
Grant as about sixty-five thousand men, or one 
hundred and sixty-two regiments and battalions. 


Early on the morning of the sixth of April, Gen- 
eral Johnston, in command of the rebel forces, 
opened an attack upon the national lines at Shiloh, 
a short distance from Corinth. The lay of the 
country just here is thickly wooded, with a few 
patches of cultivation, and the battlefield reached 
back from the bluffs at Pittsburg Landing: some 
three miles. It was enclosed by Snake River on 
the north and Lick Creek on the south, which run 
at nearly right angles with the Tennessee. These 
were the right and left defences of the national 
line ; and, as the enemy came from Corinth, the 
attack was almost wholly in front. The entire 
number of national troops on the ground at the 
time of the assault was thirty-three thousand men. 
Pittsburg Landing is only nine miles from Sa- 
vannah by the river, and not more than six in an air 
line. The heavy firing was, therefore, heard im- 
mediately by Grant and his staff, who were taking 
an early breakfast ; and an order was instantly 
dispatched to General Nelson, commanding divi- 
sion in Buell's army, to move all his forces to the 
river bank opposite Pittsburg. Grant himself 
boarded, a transport and sent the following note to 

" Heavy firing is heard up the river, indicating 
plainly that an attack has been made upon our 
most advanced position. I have been looking for 
this, but did not believe the attack could be made 


before Monday or Tuesday. This necessitates my 
joining the forces up the river, instead of meeting 
you to-day as I had contemplated." 

On his way up the river, Grant stopped at 
Crump's Landing and notified General Lewis Wal- 
lace in person, then hurried on to the landing at 
Pittsburg, and entered at once into the thickest of 
the fight. The rebels had already begun a furious 
•assault ; and the engagement soon spread along 
the whole line. Prentiss' and then Sherman's di- 
visions were driven back. This was owing largely 
to the fact that nearly all their men were raw 
recruits, and many came upon the field without 
cartridges. An unfortunate panic broke out 
among them, which gave fresh courage to the 
enemy, and as the re-enforcements from Buell 
and Wallace were greatly delayed, matters be- 
gan to look very dark to the Union troops. All 
day Grant was on the field, exposed to constant 
fire ; and when Buell, on arriving and seeing the 
situation of affairs, inquired, — 

" What preparations have you made for retreat- 
ing, General ? " Grant immediately replied, — 

''I have n't despaired of whipping them yet ! " 

At the sieo-e of Donelson, Grant had learned 
that when both armies arc nearly exhausted, and 
it seems impossible for either side to continue the 
conflict, victory is almost sure to follow the one 
who dares to renew the fight. 


Darkness was now settling down over the battle- 
field at Shiloh; but early the next morning, in 
spite of a violent rain, Grant was determined to 
make the next assault. The rebels still fought 
with tremendous vigor, ground was repeatedly 
lost and won, but little by little the national forces 
beo-an to regain their power. Near the close of 
the day, Grant met the First Ohio Regiment march- 
in"- toward the northern part of the held, where 
another regiment was just preparing to retreat. It 
was a critical moment, for an important position 
on the field was about to be relinquished to the 
foe ; Grant saw the emergency, and as soon as the 
men recognized their leader, the retreating troops 
turned back; and together the two regiments 
swept the enemy from the hotly-contested spot. 

The battle of Shiloh, one of the fiercest of the 
whole war, west of the Alleghanies, decided 
almost nothing for either side. The rebels under 
Beauregard retreated to their old position at Cor- 
inth, having lost in killed, wounded, and missing, 
ten thousand six hundred and ninety-nine men. 

The loss on the national side was still greater, 
numbering in all, twelve thousand two hundred 
and seventeen. The ground, however, remained 
in the hands of Grant; and, as the re-enforcements 
under Buell were now at the front, the national 
army, alter the battle, was in a far better condi- 
tion than that of the rebels. 


Halleck arrived on the 9th, and, taking com- 
mand of all the national forces, forbade any far- 
ther advance except behind breastworks. This 
had a most depressing effect upon the Union troops, 
and gave to the country an impression that in the 
battle of Shiloh the whole Army of the Tennessee 
had been overwhelmed and disgraced. Grant, 
though still second in command, w T as quite ignored 
in all the proceedings of the following two months. 
Many of the Western politicians tried to induce 
the President to remove him from his position, 
believing that the terrible loss of life at Shiloh was 
attributable to his leadership ; and for many 
weeks the hero of Fort Donelson was forgotten in 
the unmerited opprobrium. At this period of the 
war, Grant's abilities as a military leader were 
greatly underrated. His simplicity and direct- 
ness, his patient persistency and unwavering 
calmness were traits too unassuming to attract pop- 
ular applause, lie was regarded as a plain, good 
man, whose successes thus far during the war had 
been merely owing to chance, not to military 
genius. His opinion, therefore, was seldom con- 
sulted by his superiors ; and oftentimes his subor- 
dinates failed to carry out his orders, thinking their 
own plans would bring about more brilliant tri- 
umphs, and justify their conduct. It takes a 
diamond to test a diamond, and it is interesting 
just here to note Bismarck's appreciation of the 
quiet, earnest man : — 


" One thing that struck me forcibly was the clear and 
concise manner in which Grant talked on the various sub- 
jects he discussed. I saw at once that he knew his subject 
thoroughly, or else that he avoided it completely. ... As 
a general, he was skilful, bold, cool, and patient; and all 
the qualities needed by a great commander seem to have 
been united in him. He never hesitated to sacrifice 10,000 
men for the sake of obtaining an important advantage; but 
he also preferred to retreat than to spill a drop of blood in 
order to win a fruitless victory. He was always ready to 
expose himself to the fire of the enemy, and was astonish- 
ingly phlegmatic and modest. He was always generous in 
recommending his rivals for promotion, and exceedingly 
delicate and sparing of humiliations toward the conquered. 
... I do not think the idea of taking advantage of his 
position in order to usurp power ever crossed his mind." 




jN the 17th of July Halleck superseded Mc- 
Clellan in the command of all the armies. 
He went immediately to Washington ; and Grant 
was ordered to establish his headquarters at Cor- 
inth. This post the rebels had deserted some 
weeks before, leaving wooden guns and barren 
defences to deceive the federal army as long as 
possible. Grant remained at Corinth about eight 
weeks, watching the enemy commanded by Van 
Dorn and Price, and strengthening the fortifica- 
tions of this extensive post. Coming events ren- 
dered these works of great importance, although, 
at the time, the country's attention was concen- 
trated with painful interest upon the campaign fur- 
ther east. All the troops that could be spared 
were taken from Grant and sent to Buell, as the 
north was threatened in Maryland and in Ohio at 
the same time. 

At last Van Dorn prepared to move part of his 
force under Price, evidently planning to re-enforco 
Bragg in the Kentucky campaign. On the 9th of 


September Grant wrote to his chief as follows : 
"Should the enemy come, I will be as ready as 
possible with the means at hand. I do not believe 
that a force can be brought against us at present 
that cannot be successfully resisted." 

Four days later, Price advanced from the south 
and seized Iuka, twenty-one miles east of Corinth. 
Grant immediately telegraphed to Halleck : "If I 
can, I will attack Price before he crosses Bear 
Creek. If he can be beaten there, it will prevent 
the design either to go north, or to unite forces 
and attack here." 

Price was already at Iuka, and Van Dorn four 
days off to the southwest, threatening Corinth; 
Grant's object, therefore, was to destroy Price 
before the two armies could concentrate, and then 
to get back to Corinth and protect it against Van 

Brigadier-general Rosecrans was at once or- 
dered to attack Iuka from the south, and Major- 
general Ord with his troops to make the attack 
from the north. Their combined forces amounted 
to seventeen thousand men. 

On the afternoon of the 19th Rosecrans had ar- 
rived within two miles of Iuka, when the head of 
his column was suddenly attacked by the rebels. 
He managed to keep his ground until dark, and 
late that night sent the following despatch to 
Grant : " We have lost two or three pieces of 


artillery. Firing was very heavy. You must at- 
tack in the morning, and in force. The ground is 
horrid, unknown to us, and no room for develop- 
ment. Could n't use our artillery at all ; fired but 
few shots. Push in on to them until we can have 
time to do something. We will try to get a posi- 
tion on our right which will take Inka." 

This despatch, owing to the state of the roads, 
was unfortunately delayed, but as soon as receiv- 
ed Grant sent word to Ord to attack as soon as 
possible, saying, "Unless you can create a diver- 
sion in Rosecrans' favor, he may find his hands 

The rebels finding how nearly they were 
surrounded by Grant's concentrated forces, held 
Rosecrans in check on one road, and escaped, 
under cover of darkness, by the other. This de- 
feated Grant's plan of capturing Price's entire 
force, as by the battle of Iuka the enemy was 
not seriously crippled, but only checked in the 
course they intended to pursue. They still con- 
tinued to annoy Grant from various quarters, and 
on the 1st of October he telegraphed to Washing- 
ton, " My position is precarious, but I hope to 
get out of it all right." By the removal of Price's 
cavalry to Ripley, it now seemed probable that 
Corinth was to bo the next place of attack. Grant 
therefore ordered Rosecrans to concentrate his 
forces, and Brigadier-general MePherson was 


sent from Jackson with a brigade of troops has- 
tily called in from other quarters. 

The rebel army, consisting of about thirty-eight 
thousand, appeared in front of Corinth under the 
command of Van Dorn, Price, Lovell, Villepigue, 
and Rust. This was on the 2d of October, and 
on the following day the fighting began in good 
earnest. Rosecrans had but nineteen thousand 
men, and pushed out towards Chewalla ; he was 
soon driven back, however, to his defences on the 
north side of Corinth, and the work bestowed on 
these fortifications a month before by Grant was 
now fully appreciated. Until morning the enemy 
was checked ; then, for a short time, the battle wa- 
vered ; but before noon Rosecrans, commanding 
his troops in person, finally repulsed them with a 
loss of only half as many as the rebels in killed 
and wounded. 

Grant, anticipating this victory at Corinth, 
directed Rosecrans to push on immediately ; for 
he knew that if Ord's little band of troops en- 
countered the whole rebel army in their flight, the 
danger would be great. Rosecrans, however, 
ignored these orders ; and, as his troops were 
fatigued by the two days' battle, he gave directions 
for them to rest awhile before continuing the pur- 
suit. Fresh orders came from Grant, who was 
greatly anno veil by the delay, and on the next 
day Rosecrans started out. He made a mistake 


in the road, however, and the rebels attacked Ord 
before he could reach them. They were repulsed 
by that general and driven six miles up the river, 
where they crossed the bridge over the Hatchie, 
just as Kosecrans arrived with his army. It was 
now too late to pursue the retreating enemy, and 
although Kosecrans wished to continue the advance, 
Grant knew it was wiser to recall the troops. 

Although the rebel army in this quarter had es- 
caped complete destruction, these two battles at 
Iuka and Corinth determined the possession of 
northern Mississippi and West Tennessee, and 
somewhat retrieved the disasters at the east. 

Grant directed the movements in both of these 
engagements, though in the former he was some 
eight miles from the field, and in the latter, nearly 
forty. He received, however, no credit for his 
wise management, but Rosecrans was immediately 
made a major-general of volunteers, and ordered 
to the command of the Army of the Cumberland. 




OF all the rebel defences along the Mississippi 
River, Vicksburg was by far the most impor- 
tant. Jefferson Davis had called it the Gibraltar 
of America ; and nature seemed, indeed, to com- 
bine here with art to make the fortifications im- 
pregnable. The ground upon which the city 
stands is supposed by some to have been originally 
a plateau, four or five miles long, about two miles 
wide, and two or three hundred feet above the 
river. Violent storms have gradually washed away 
this plateau, until it presents a labyrinth of sharp 
ridges and deep ravines. The soil is so tine that 
when cut vertically by the action of the water, it 
will remain in a perpendicular position for years, 
making the ascent of the bluffs exceedingly difficult. 
The ridges are thickly wooded at the sides, and 
the bottoms of the ravines are never level except 
when the streams of water that formed them have 
been unusually large. The Mississippi runs a little 
west of south, just here, and the streams that 
empty into it from the cast run southwest. The 



whole line of the rebel fortifications was between 
seven and eight miles long, exclusive of four miles 
of rifle-trench and heavy batteries on the water 
front. These fortifications were detached from one 
another on prominent ridges, but a continuous line 
of rifle-pits made a connection between them. The 
ravines were the only ditches, except in front of the 
detached works, but no others were needed, for 
trees were felled in front of the whole line which 
formed, in many places, impassable entanglements. 

Towards the north, the hills are higher and 
covered with a thicker growth of timber, so that 
here the rebels had been able to make their line 
especially strong and difficult of approach. From 
the Jackson road to the river, on the south, the 
slopes are more gentle, the ridges lower, and the 
country under better cultivation ; but what was 
lacking in natural defences was here supplied by 
still stronger fortifications. 

The battles of Iuka and Corinth had occurred in 
September and October, and on the 25th of the 
latter month Grant assumed command of the De- 
partment of the Tennessee, which included Cairo, 
Forts Henry and Donelson, northern Mississippi, 
and that part of Kentucky and Tennessee that lies ■ 
west of the Tennessee River. 

On the following day Grant wrote to Halleek : — 

"Yon never have suggested to me any plan of operations 
in this department. ... As situated now, with no more 


troops, T can do nothing but defend my position?, find I do 
not feel at liberty to abandon any of them without first con- 
sulting you. . . . With small re-enforcements at Memphis, 
I think I would be able to move down the Mississippi Cen- 
tral road, and cause the evacuation of Vicksburg." 

To do this, Grant proposed the abandonment of 
Corinth, the destruction of all the railroads leading 
out from that place, the re-opening of the road 
from Humboldt to Memphis, and the concentration 
of the troops from Corinth and Bolivar. " I am 
ready, however," he added, "to do with all my 
might whatever you may direct, without criticism." 

Keceiving no answer, Grant announced to Ilal- 
leck on the 2d of November : " I have commenced 
a movement on Grand Junction with three divisions 
from Corinth and two from Bolivar. Will leave 
Jackson to-morrow and take command in person. 
If found practicable, I will go to Holly Springs, 
and may be Grenada, completing railroad and tel- 
egraph as I go." 

When Halleck received this intelligence he tele- 
graphed to Grant, "I approve of your plan of 
advancing upon the enemy as soon as you are 
strong enough for that purpose ; " but he did not 
authorize him to abandon any of his positions, so 
Grant was obliged to hold them all. Two days 
after, he seized La Grange and Grand Junction, 
and announced, "My moving force will be about 
thirty thousand men." 


Major-general McClernan'd meanwhile had gone 
on to Washington, and petitioned the President 
and Secretary of War for an independent command 
at the West. He was a man of energy and courage, 
but without military knowledge or experience. 
His desire at this time was to raise troops for an 
expedition of his own against Vicksburg. The 
President approved of the plans when submitted 
to him, and advised McClernand to submit them 
to the general-in-chief. Halleck, however, replied 
that he had no time to waste upon such matters, 
and even if he had the time, he had not the inclina- 
tion. The President, nevertheless, was a warm 
friend of McClernand, and indorsed him ; and the 
Secretary of War gave him permission to go West 
and collect his troops for the desired purpose. Of 
this little episode Grant had no knowledge until 
it came to him through the newspapers. Halleck, 
however, probably had it in mind when on the 5th 
of November he wrote Grant : — 

"Had not troops sent to re-enforce you better 
go to Memphis hereafter? I hope to give you 
twenty thousand additional men in a few days." 
And again when he informed Grant, " I hope for 
an active campaign on the Mississippi this fall ; a 
large force will ascend the river from New 

On the 9th, Grant telegraphed: " Re-enforce- 
ments are arriving very slowly. If they do not 


come in more rapidly, I will attack as I am." The 
next day he was still more restive, and inquired : — 

"Am I to understand that I lie here still, while 
an expedition is fitted out from Memphis ; or do 
you want me to push as far south as possible ? Am 
I to have Sherman subject to my orders, or is he 
and his force reserved for some special service ? " 

Halleck promptly replied, "You have command 
of all troops sent to your department, and have 
permission to fight the enemy when you please." 

On the very next day, Grant's cavalry proceeded 
to Holly Springs, and drove the enemy south of the 
Tallahatchie. On the 14th he wrote to Sherman : 

rt I have now complete control of my depart- 
ment. . . . Move with two divisions of twelve 
full regiments each, and, if possible, with three 
divisions, to Oxford, or the Tallahatchie, as soon 
as possible. I am now ready to move from La 
Grange any day, and only await your movements. 
... I am exceedingly anxious to do something 
before the roads get bad, and before the enemy can 
intrench and re-enforce." 

Grant's plan was, as originally contemplated, to 
advance along the Mississippi Central railroad, 
until, by approaching near enough to Vicksburgto 
threaten it, he might compel the evacuation of the 

Halleck, who was still importuned by McCler- 
nand's political friends, now inquired of Grant how 


many men he had in his department, and what force 
could be sent down the river to Vicksburg. 

Grant replied that he had in all seventy-two 
thousand men, eighteen thousand of whom were at 
Memphis, and that sixteen thousand of these could 
be spared for the river expedition. He had, how- 
ever, already given orders for the advance of his 
whole force, including Sherman, had written to 
Steele, in Arkansas, to threaten Grenada, and had 
asked Admiral Porter to send boats to co-operate 
at the mouth of the Yazoo. 

" Must I countermand the orders for this move ?" 
he inquired. 

Halleck, who favored Grant's plan rather than 
McClernand's, replied at once : " Proposed move 
approved. Do not go too far." 

Grant's cavalry on the 29th crossed the Talla- 
hatchie, and quartered at Holly Springs. 

"Our troops will be in Abbeville to-morrow," 
he telegraphed, "or a battle will be fought." 

The movement of troops, meanwhile, from He- 
lena was made under Generals Hovey and Wash- 
burne. The rebels almost immediately evacuated 
their fortifications on the Tallahatchie, and were 
pursued to Oxford with no fighting, save a few 
skirmishes. On the 3d of December Grant in- 
formed Admiral Porter, — 

" Our move has been successful, so far as com- 
pelling the evacuation of the Mississippi Central 


road as far as Grenada." He now began to think 
of the difficulty of supplying his army, and on the 
same day wrote to Halleck from Abbeville : — 

" How far south would you like me to go ? 
Would it not be well to hold the enemy south of 
the Tallabusha, and move a force from Helena and 
Memphis on Vicksburg? "With my present force 
it would not be prudent to go beyond Grenada, 
and attempt to hold present line of communica- 

On the 5th he again suggested to Halleck, — 

" If the Helena troops were at my command, I 
think it would be practicable to send Sherman to 
take them and the Memphis forces south of the 
mouth of the Yazoo River, and thus secure Vicks- 
burg and the State of Mississippi." 

This plan, which was finally adopted, seemed to 
promise double means of success ; for, Sherman 
proceeding down the Mississippi to the mouth of the 
Yazoo, could present a new base for Grant ; or, if 
this course seemed impracticable, Grant could hold 
the main body of the enemy at or near Grenada, 
while Sherman went forward to Vicksburg. 

In reply to Grant's suggestions, Halleck directed 
him not to try to hold the country south of the 
Tallahatchie, but to collect twenty-five thousand 
troops at Memphis for the Vicksburg expedition. 

In reply to Grant's inquiry, "Do you want me 
to command the expedition to Vicksburg, or shall I 


send Sherman ? " Halleck replied, " You may move 
your troops as you may deem best to accomplish 
the great object in view. . . . Ask Porter to co- 
operate. Telegraph what are your present plans." 

Grant immediately answered : " General Sher- 
man will command the expedition down the Mis- 
sissippi. He will have a force of about forty thou- 
sand men ; will land at Vicksburg, up the Yazoo, 
if practicable, and cut the Mississippi Central road, 
and the road running east from Vicksburg, where 
they cross the Black River. I will co-operate from 
here, my movements depending on those of the 
enemy. With the large cavalry force at my com- 
mand I will be able to have them show themselves 
at different points on the Tallahatchie and Talla- 
bnsha, and, where an opportunity occurs, make a 
real attack. After cutting the two roads, General 
Sherman's movements to secure the end desired 
will necessarily be left to his judgment. I will 
occupy this road to Coffeeville." 

Grant and Halleck were both anxious to have 
Sherman take command of the river expedition, in 
preference to McClernand, who was so ignorant 
of military affairs ; but on the 18th of the month 
came the unwelcome order from Washington, — 

f 'It is the wish of the President that General 
McClernand's corps shall constitute apart of the 
river expedition, and that he shall have the imme- 
diate command under your direction." 


Of course there was nothing to be done but to 
obey, and on the same day Grant wrote McCler- 
nand, who was at Springfield, 111. : — 

" I have been directed this moment, by tele- 
graph from the general-in-chief of the army, to 
divide the forces of this department into four army 
corps, one of which is to be commanded by your- 
self, and that to form a part of the expedition on 
Vicksburg. I have drafted the order, and will 
forward it to you as soon as printed. . . . Writ- 
ten and verbal instructions have been given to 
General Sherman, which will be turned over to 
you on your arrival at Memphis." 

Two days later, the enemy's cavalry, under 
Van Dorn, made a sudden dash upon Holly 
Springs while the troops were in their beds. By 
this catastrophe fifteen hundred prisoners wore 
taken and all the stores, amounting to some four 
hundred thousand dollars worth of ordnance and 
quartermasters' supplies. At the same time an- 
other rebel raid was made into West Tennessee, 
and the railroad destroyed between Columbus and 

For over a week, therefore, Grant had no com- 
munication whatever with the North, and for a 
fortnight no supplies. The Southern women 
came with exultant faces to his headquarters, and 
asked him what he would do now that his soldiers 
had nothing to eat. The General quietly informed 


them that his soldiers would find a great plenty in 
their barns and storehouses. 

"But you would not take from non-comba- 
tants ! " they exclaimed. 

It was, indeed, the first time that Grant had 
ever fed his army exclusively from the country ; 
but absolute necessity compelled him to do so 
here ; and from this experience he learned the pos- 
sibility of an army of thirty thousand men, without 
supplies, subsisting for days upon the produce of 
the surrounding countiy. Of course the farmers 
suffered ; but the South had avowedly made the 
war that of the people, and this was but one of 
the many dire consequences that must follow. 

Owing to the break in communication, McCler- 
nand did not immediately receive his orders to 
assume command, and before the line re-opened 
Sherman had embarked at Memphis with thirty 
thousand men, and was re-enforced at Helena by 
twelve thousand more. On the day before Christ- 
mas, he arrived at Milliken's Bend, on the Arkan- 
sas side, twenty miles above Vicksburg. Here he 
spent two or three days, endeavoring to cut the 
Vicksburg and Shreveport railroad, while waiting 
to hear from Banks, who had been ordered to move 
up the river from New Orleans and co-operate in 
the attack upon Vicksburg. This delay gave the 
enemy time to prepare for the anticipated attack. 
On the 27th of the month, Sherman landed his 


troops on the south side of the river, near the 
mouth of the Chicasaw Bayou. 

Just above the town of Vicksbursr the lorn; line 
of hills turns off from the Mississippi and for many 
miles runs parallel to the Yazoo. A strip of 
country covered with a dense and tangled under- 
brush lies between this latter river and the bluffs. 
It is about three miles wide, and protected, not 
only by the guns on the bluffs, but also by the 
numerous trenches and rifle-pits along the hills. 
Moreover, at this season of the year, it is almost 
covered with water ; but in spite of all these diffi- 
culties, which made it impossible for Sherman at 
any time to avail himself of half his forces, he got 
his army across, and fairly into the rebel lines. 
He even succeeded in securing a footing on the 
hard land, just at the base of the bluffs, but was 
finally driven back, with a loss of one hundred 
and seventy-five men killed, nine hundred and 
thirty wounded, and seven hundred and forty- 
three missing. 

Reporting the assault to Grant, he attributed 
his failure " to the strength of the enenry's position, 
both natural and artificial." The whole affair, 
however, had been conducted with great skill and 
bravery, and the attack was made at the only 
point wdiere there seemed to be any chance of 

Sherman relinquished his command on the sec- 


ond of January to McClernand, who met him near 
the mouth of the Yazoo. The rebels were over- 
joyed at these two successes, but they little knew 
the indomitable spirit of the leader of the Ten- 
nessee army. Delays and difficulties with Grant 
only increased his determination and obstinate 

McClernand's insubordinate behavior occa- 
sioned so much annoyance at this time, that Sher- 
man, McPherson, and Admiral Porter, urged 
Grant to assume the command in person. He de- 
sired that Sherman should take it ; but for numer- 
ous reasons it seemed necessary to the success of 
the Vicksburg campaign that Grant, the com- 
mander of the department, should direct it in 

On the 20th of the month, after visiting the 
transport fleet at the mouth of the Arkansas, he 
wrote to Hal leek, — 

" The work of reducing Vicksburg will take 
time and men, but can be accomplished." 

On the 29th he arrived in person at Young's 
Point, and on the following day assumed imme- 
diate command of the expedition against Vicks- 
burg. The entire force of the Department of the 
Tennessee now amounted to one hundred and 
thirty thousand men, and was divided into four 
army corps under the command of Major-gen- 
erals McClernand, Sherman, Hurlburt, and Mc- 


The troops detailed for the Vicksburg expedi- 
tion were tit Young's Point and Milliken's Bend, 
and numbered fifty thousand. All possible pre- 
cautions were taken to ensure the health and com- 
fort of the troops, but there was no place for the 
camps save upon swampy ground, and much sick- 
ness ensued during the rainy season. 

The problem now was to obtain a footing on 
the highlands of the eastern bank. If Grant could 
only intrench his army on the crest of the hills, 
there would be no way open to the rebels but to 
come out and fight in the field, or submit to have 
all their communications cut off, and so be fairly 
starved out. The heavy rains, however, pre- 
vented this plan from being carried into operation. 
If an attempt should be made to get below the 
town, Vicksburg itself threatened the only line 
by which supplies could be procured. There 
were three ways by which this difficulty might 
be obviated: First, by turning the Mississippi 
River from its course, cutting a canal across 
the peninsula in front of Vicksburg, a new 
channel might be formed, through which the 
fleet could pass securely. The second plan 
was to make a circuitous passage from Lake 
Providence, on the Louisiana side, seventy miles 
above Vicksburg, through the lied River into 
the Mississippi, four hundred miles below. The 
third was to march the whole army along the 


western shore, cross the river at some point below 
the town, combine with Banks to operate against 
Port Hudson, and then begin a fresh campaign 
against Vicksburg, from Grand Gulf or Warren- 

On the day after Grant assumed entire com- 
mand of the expedition, he gave orders for cutting 
a way from the Mississippi to Lake Providence. 
This sheet of water is really a part of the old bed 
of the river, and lies about a mile west of the pres- 
ent channel. A canal was finally cut between the 
river and the lake, but much difficulty was en- 
countered in clearing Bayou Baxter — one of the 
outlets of Lake Providence — of the fallen timber 
which clogged its passage. Great excitement was 
caused by this project, as many thought that the 
mighty river was to be entirely turned out of its 
course, even into the Atchafalaya ; and that New 
Orleans, becoming thereby an inland town, would 
forever lose its prominence among the cities of the 

But Grant had only planned this work to give 
occupation to his men, and to secure a better open- 
ing for active operations* and in March the work 
was given up, before any steamer had passed 
through the circuitous passage. 

The opening of the Yazoo Pass was next accom- 
plished, under Lieutenant-colonel Wilson. Grant 
now determined to prosecute his entire campaign, 


if possible, in this direction, and hoped to reach the 
Yazoo River, above Haine's Bluff*, with the whole 
army. In all his various schemes he never lost 
sight of his principal aim, — to obtain a footing 
and to secure a base on dry land. Sherman was sent 
up Steele's Bayou with a division of troops ; and 
Admiral Porter accompanied him with live iron- 
clads and four mortar-boats. The object was not 
only to liberate Ross, but to get possession of 
some point on the east bank from which Yicksburg 
could be reached by land. Quimby was informed 
of Sherman's co-operation, and Grant urged him 
to the support of Ross, saying, — 

" Sherman will come in below the enemy you 
are now contending against, and between the two 
forces you will find no farther difficulties before 
reaching the ground I so much desire." 

All these efforts, however, proved ineffectual. 
Porter was attacked by sharp-shooters, and impeded 
in his course by fallen trees which the enemy threw 
into the stream, both in the front and rear of his 
fleet. Sherman came to his assistance, and but 
few lives were lost in the frequent skirmishes : 
but all attempts to reach the Yazoo were blockaded 
by the enemy, and the admiral was obliged to 
return without accomplishing any one object of the 
expedition. Meanwhile, Farragut, with a part of 
his fleet, had run by the batteries at Port Hudson, 
and communicated with Grant. The latter now 


proposed to send an army corps to co-operate with 

On the 2d of April, Halleck had written : — 
"The President seems to be rather impatient 
about matters on the Mississippi. . . . What is 
most desired (and your attention is called again 
to this object) is, that your forces and those of 
General Banks should be brought into co-opera- 
tion as early as possible. If he cannot get up to 
co-operate with you on Yicksburg, cannot you get 
troops down to help him at Port Hudson, or at 
least can you not destroy Grand Gulf before it 
becomes too strong:?" 

The realization of this plan was prevented, not 
only by the great distance that lay between the two 
armies, but also by the two formidable strongholds 
that blocked the way. But the country could not 
understand all these difficulties. The government, 
too, began to grow very impatient, and complaints 
were loudly made of Grant's slowness. With his 
great force of sixty or seventy thousand men, 
nothing, so far as could be seen, had been accom- 
plished for a whole half year. McClernand now 
used his utmost power to supplant Grant. A 
congressman who had hitherto been one of Grant's 
warmest friends went to the President, without 
being sent for, and declared that the emergencies 
of the country seemed to demand another com- 
mander before Vicksbunr. But to him Mr. Lin- 
coin replied, — 


" I rather like the man. I think we '11 try him 
a little longer." 

The last plan that Grant submitted to Halleck 
was as follows : — 

"There is a system of bayous running from 
Milliken's Bend, also from near the river at 
Young's Point, that are navigable for large and 
small steamers passing around by Richmond to 
New Carthage. There is also a good wagon-road 
from Milliken's Bend to New Carthage. The 
dredges are now engaged cutting a canal from 
there into these bayous. I am having all the 
empty coal-boats and other barges prepared for 
carrying troops and artillery, and have written to 
Colonel Allen for some more, and also for six tugs 
to tow them. With them it would be easy to 
carry supplies to New Carthage and any point 
south of that. 

" My expectation is, for some of the naval fleet 
to run the batteries of Vicksburg, whilst the army 
moves through by this new route. Once there, 
I will move to Warrenton or Grand Gulf — proba- 
bly, the latter. From either of these points there 
are good roads to Jackson and the Black River 
bridge, without crossing Black River. I will keep 
my army together, and see to it that I am not cut 
off from my supplies, or beaten in any other way 
than a fair fight." 

To Sherman, Mc Pherson, and all the able ofE- 


cers under Grant's command, this last scheme 
seemed a most hazardous undertaking. By remov- 
ing his army below Vicksburg, he would be sep- 
arated from the North, and from all its supplies. 
Failure, if it came, would be overwhelming; 
nothing but a speedy victory could insure his 
army from complete annihilation. But Grant 
had made up his mind that this was the right 
course to pursue, and no amount of persuasion 
could deter him. By moving his army below 
Vicksburg, he felt assured that he could supply 
himself by the roads and bayous in Louisiana, and 
from there send a part of his force to help Banks 
in the reduction of Port Hudson. This accom- 
plished, Banks and his whole army were to unite 
with Grant in the siege against Vicksburg ; and, 
as the Mississippi would then be open from New 
Orleans, supplies could be sent from that quarter. 
It was necessary to concentrate his troops immedi- 
ately ; so, in the last week of March, Mc Pherson 
was recalled from Lake Providence and the 
Yazoo Pass; Sherman, from Steele's Bayou, and 
McClernand from Milliken's Bend to New Car- 
thage, some twenty-seven miles below. The 
inundation of the river was a great hindrance at 
this time. 

"The embarrassment," wrote Grant to Halleck, 
" I have had to contend against, on account of 
extreme high water, cannot be appreciated by any 


one not present to witness it." It was, indeed, 
the submerged condition of the Louisiana roads 
that had prevented Grant from not adopting sooner 
this last plan. By the 6th of April, however, 
New Carthage was occupied by the national forces, 
although the levee of Bayou Vidal, which empties 
into the Mississippi at this point, was broken 
in numerous places, and the whole surrounding 
country submerged in water. The transportation 
of supplies by land became so difficult that Grant 
determined to run the risk of sending three 
steamers and ten barges, loaded with rations and 
forage, past the batteries. The co-operation of 
Admiral Porter in this, as in all other undertakings, 
was both able and prompt. 

"I am happy to say," writes Grant on the 26th 
of April, "that the admiral and myself have never 
yet disagreed upon any policy." 

As quietly as possible, on the night of the 16th, 
the little fleet proceeded down the river. Seven of 
Porter's ironclads were to engage the batteries ; 
while the river steamers, protected by wet hay and 
bales of cotton, and towing the barges, were to run 
the gauntlet of twenty-eight heavy guns that com- 
manded the river for over fifteen miles. It was a 
dark night ; but the rebels immediately set tire to 
houses on both sides the river, and when the fleet 
was opposite Vicksburg the men at the batteries 
and in the streets could be seen distinctly. Each 


vessel now became a target, and the firing con- 
tinued for nearly three hours. One of the trans- 
ports, the Henry Clay, took fire from the explosion 
of a shell, and burned to the water's edge ; but the 
ciew and all on board were saved. On the gun- 
boats no one was killed, and only eight wound- 
ed ; all of Porter's vessels, indeed, were ready for 
service in less than an hour after passing Vicks- 
burg, although the steamers and barges were badly 

Some ten days later, six other transports tried 
the same ordeal, with twelve barges laden with 
supplies. In this attempt, five hundred shots were 
fired, but only one man was killed, and six or 
eight wounded. 

In the early part of the month, Grant had sent 
orders to McCleniand " to get possession of Grand 
Gulf at the earliest practicable moment." That 
officer, however, had been exceedingly dilatory in 
his movements, and Grant, after consulting with 
Admiral Porter, now determined to attack the 
works himself. The fortifications at this place, 
which commands an extended view of the river, 
consisted of a series of rifle-trenches and two 
batteries with thirteen heavy guns. The post was 
selected by the enemy, not as a position for land 
defence, but for the protection of the mouth of 
the Big Black, and also as a precautionary meas- 
ure against the passage of transports. 


Grant's plan of attack was for the naval force 
to bombard and silence the batteries, after which 
the troops were to land at the foot of the bluff, 
and carry the works by storm. He had, how- 
ever, foreseen that it might be necessary to run 
past the batteries, and in his order to McClernand 
for the attack on the 27th had remarked : — 

" It may be that the enemy will occupy positions 
back from the city, out of range of the gun-boats, 
so as to make it desirable to run past Grand Gulf, 
and land at Rodney . . . or, it may be expedient 
for the boats to run past, but not the men. In 
this case, then, the transports would have to be 
brought back to where the men could land, and 
move by forced marches to below Grand Gulf, re- 
embark rapidly, and proceed to the latter place." 

This, indeed, is what really occurred, two days 
afterward, with the exception of the march to 
Grand Gulf. The rebel batteries were too ele- 
vated for Admiral Porter to accomplish anything 
with his iron-clads ; and, with a loss of eighteen 
killed and fifty-six wounded, he was obliged to 
withdraw. That night, therefore, by request of 
Grant, he ran by the batteries with his entire fleet, 
as a cover to the transports. On the 29th, after 
passing Grand Gulf, Grant wrote to Ilalleck, — 

" I feel now that the battle is more than half 


, » 




TN the battle of Port Gibson, that followed a 
-*- few days later, the rebel leader, Bowen, was 
obliged to evacuate the post, and withdraw his 
forces across the two forks of the Bayou Pierre. 
Grand Gulf was now of no use to the Confede- 
rates, and news came that it was being deserted. 
Grant immediately determined to place there his 
base of "supplies, and, upon his arrival, found the 
naval force, under Porter, in possession of the 
post. Thirteen pieces of artillery had been left 
behind; for "so great," wrote one of the rebel 
commanders, "were Grant's facilities for trans- 
portation, and so rapid were his movements, that 
it was found impracticable to withdraw the heavy 
guns." That night Grant wrote to Sullivan, who 
commanded the district between Milliken's Bend 
and Smith's Plantation : — 

"You will give special attention to the matter 
of shortening the line of land transportation from 
above Vicksburs; to the steamers below. As soon 
as the river has fallen sufficiently, you will have a 


road constructed from Young's Point to a landing 
just below Warrenton, and dispose of your troops 
accordingly. Everything depends upon the promp- 
titude with which our supplies are forwarded." To 
Sherman he wrote : — 

"I wish you to collect a train of one hundred 
and twenty wagons at Milliken's Bend and Per- 
kins's Plantation ; send them to Grand Gulf, and 
there load them with rations as follows, — one 
hundred thousand pounds of bacon, the balance 
coffee, sugar, salt, and hard bread. For your own 
use on the march from Grand Gulf, you will draw 
five days' rations, and see that they last five days. 
It is unnecessary for me to remind }-ou of the 
overwhelming importance of celerity. . . . All 
we want now are men, ammunition, and hard 
bread ; we can subsist our horses on the country, 
and obtain considerable supplies for our troops." 

Up to the time of crossing the Mississippi, 
Grant's plan had been to collect all his " forces 
at Grand Gulf, and get on hand a good supply of 
provisions and ordnance stores, and in the mean- 
time to detach a corps to co-operate with Banks 
against Port Hudson, and so effect a junction of 
their forces." 

But, by the victory at Port Gibson, Grant was 
now on the high dry ground, he had been strug- 
gling all winter to obtain, and within fifteen miles 
of Vicksburg. Moreover, a letter received from 


Banks at this time declared that he could not 
reach Port Hudson until the 10th of May, and 
that even after the reduction of that place he 
could re-enforce Grant with only twelve thousand 
men. Meantime, the rebels were endeavoring to 
consolidate two armies for the anticipated contest 
at Vicksburg ; and, to prevent this, Grant decided 
at once upon his course of action. He determined 
" to push between the two armies before they 
could combine ; to drive eastward the weaker one ; 
attack and beat Gregg before Pemberton could 
come to the rescue ; and to seize Jackson, the 
capital of the State, situated fifty miles in the rear 
of Vicksburg, and at the junction of the railroads 
by which Vicksburg is supplied. When once the 
roads that centre there were destroyed, troops, as 
well as stores, would be cut off, and Vicksburg 
with its garrison isolated from the would-be Con- 

To accomplish this Herculean task, great ra- 
pidity of movement was necessary. To Sherman 
he at once wrote : — 

" Order forward immediately your remaining 
division, leaving only two regiments (to guard 
Richmond) , as required in previous orders. Have 
all the men leave the west bank of the river, with 
three days' rations in haversacks, and make all 
possible dispatch to Grand Gulf." 

To Hurlburt, who was at Memphis, he tele- 
graphed : — 


" Send Lauman's division to Milliken's Bend, to 
be forwarded to this army with as little delay as 
practicable. . . . Let them move by brigades, as 
fast as transportation can be procured." 

To an officer of bis staff, who had been left at 
Grand Gulf, he wrote : — 

" See that the commissary at Grand Gulf loads 
all the wagons presenting themselves for stores, 
with great promptness. Issue any order in my 
name that may be necessary to secure the greatest 
promptness in this respect. . . . Every day's de- 
lay is worth two thousand men to the enemy." 

Admiral Porter had started with a portion of his 
fleet for the Red River, to co-operate with Banks, 
and left Captain Owens in command. To this 
officer, therefore, Grant sent the following or- 
ders : — 

"Place a flagship in the mouth of the Black 
River to watch any movement of the enemy in that 
direction. Leave Captain Murphy's vessel in front 
of Grand Gulf, to guard the stores and to convoy 
any steamer that may require it. . . . Send the 
remaining ironclads to the vicinity ofWarrenton, 
to watch the movements of the enemy there, and 
prevent them from sending troops across the river 
to interrupt our lines from Milliken's Bend and 
Young's Point." 

As Hurlburt himself was to remain at Memphis, 
Grant sent the following instructions : — 


" I am ordering to you all the cavalry at Helena 
except two regiments. You can further strengthen 
your southern line by bringing troops from the 
district of Columbus. The completion of the road 
from Grand Junction to Corinth will enable you to 
draw off all the troops north of that road. Make 
such disposition of the troops within your com- 
mand as you may deem advisable for the best pro- 
tection of your lines of communication. When the 
road to Corinth is completed, put in there, as 
speedily as possible, sixty days' supply of pro- 
visions and forage. . . . Telegraph to General 
Hal leek direct the forces I have drawn from you ; 
and should re-enforcements be found necessary to 
hold your district, let him know it. Whilst head- 
quarters are so distant, communicate direct with 
Washington in all important matters, but keep me 
advised at the time of what is going on. . . . You 
will have a large force of cavalry ; use it as much 
as possible in attracting attention from this direc- 
tion. Impress upon the cavalry the necessity of 
keeping out of people's houses, or taking what is of 
no use to them in a military point of view. They 
must, however, live as far as possible off the 
country through which they pass, and destroy 
corn, wheat, crops, and everything that can be 
made use of by the enemy in prolonging the war. 
Mules and horses are to be taken to supply all our 
own wants, and, when it does not cause too much 


delay, agricultural implements may be destroyed. 
In other words, cripple in every way, without in- 
sulting women and children, or taking their 
clothes, jewelry, etc." 

Since the battle of Shiloh, Grant had given up 
the idea of saving the resources and the property of 
the South. He believed that armies must not only 
be defeated, but destroyed; and that to suppress 
the rebellion it would tirst be necessary to anni- 
hilate its strength. 

Sherman did not as yet understand that Grant 
intended to march without any base at all, and 
urged him to " stop all troops till your army is 
partially supplied with wagons, and then act as 
quickly as possible. For the road will be jammed 
as sure as life, if you attempt to supply fifty thou- 
sand men by one single road." Grant replied to 
this : — 

" I do not calculate upon The possibility of sup- 
plying the army with full rations from Grand Gulf. 
I know it will be impossible Avithout constructing 
additional roads. What I do expect, how r ever, is 
to get up what rations of hard bread, coffee, and 
salt we can, and make the country furnish the 
balance. We started from Bruinsburg with an 
average of about two days' rations, and received 
no more from our own supplies for some days ; 
abundance was found in the meantime. Some corn- 
meal, bacon, and vegetables were found, and an 


abundance of beef and mutton. A delay would 
give the enemy time to re-enforce and fortify. If 
Blair was up now, I believe we could be in Vicks- 
burg in seven days. The command here has an 
average of about three days' rations, which could 
be made to last that time. You are in a country 
where the troops have already lived off of the 
people for some days, and may find provisions 
more scarce ; but, as we get upon new soil, they 
are more abundant, particularly in corn and cattle. 
Bring Blair's two brigades up as soon as possible." 

On the 10th of May, Grant heard again from 
Banks, who desired re-enforcements on the Red 
River. lie at once replied as follows : — 

tf My advance will occupy to-day, Utica, Auburn, 
and a point equally advanced toward the Southern 
Mississippi railroad, between the latter place and 
the Big Black. It was my intention, on gaining a 
foothold at Grand Gulf, to have sent a sufficient 
force to Port Hudson to have insured the fall of 
that place with your co-operation, or rather to 
have co-operated with you to secure that end. 
Meeting the enemy as I did below Port Gibson, 
however, I followed him to the Big Black, and 
could not afford to retrace my steps. I also 
learned, and believed the information to be relia- 
ble, that Port Hudson is almost entirely evacuated. 
This may not be true, but it is the concurrent tes- 
timony of deserters and contrabands. Many days 


cannot elapse before the battle will begin, which 
is to decide the fate of Vicksburg ; but it is impos- 
sible to predict how long it may last. I would 
urgently request, therefore, that you join me, or 
send all the force you can spare, to co-operate in 
the great struggle for opening the Mississippi 

On the morning of the 12th, Logan's division 
moved towards Raymond, followed by Crocker. 
MePherson also ordered two regiments to be de- 
ployed on each side of the road, and about noon 
came upon the enemy five thousand strong, within 
two miles of Raymond, and under the command 
of Gregg. The battle opened vigorously about 
two o'clock that afternoon, on the centre and left 
centre of the troops. The rebels fought with des- 
peration, but were finally compelled to retreat 
with the loss of one hundred killed, and three 
hundred and live Mounded, besides four hundred 
and fifteen prisoners. Two pieces of cannon, 
also, were disabled ; and a quantity of small- 
arms fell into MePherson's hands. The national 
troops lost in this engagement, sixty-nine men 
killed, three hundred and forty-one wounded, and 
thirty missing. Raymond was entered by Me- 
Pherson at live o'clock that afternoon, and the 
rebels retreated to Jackson, where Johnston took 
command on the following day. 

Grant, who was with Sherman at this time, tel- 
egraphed at once to MePherson : — 


" If you have gained Raymond, throw back 
forces at once in this direction, until communica- 
tion is opened with Sherman. Also feel to the 
north, towards the railroad, and, if possible, des- 
troy it and the telegraph. If the road is opened, I 
will ride over to see you this evening ; but I can- 
not do so until I know McClernand is secure in his 
position." To this latter officer he wrote : — 

" Sherman will probably succeed in following 
out original intentions of going in advance of this 
place (Fourteen-mile Creek) to the cross-roads. 
Gain the creek with your command if possible, 
and hold it, with at least one division thrown 
across. Reconnoitre the roads in advance, and 
also in this direction, so as to open communica- 
tion with General Sherman and myself. If bridges 
are destroyed, make fords." 

On the evening of the 12th of May, the Army 
of the Tennessee occupied a line almost parallel 
with, and seven miles south of the Vicksburg and 
Jackson railroad. McPherson was on the right, 
at Raymond ; McClernand, four miles to the left, 
at Montgomery Bridge, on Fourteen-mile Creek, 
with a detachment guarding Baldwin's Ferry ; 
and Grant was with Sherman seven miles to the 
west, at Dillon's Plantation. 

The next important movement was to make sure 
of Jackson, so that there might be no hostile force 
in the rear. 


On the 13lh of May, therefore, McPherson 
moved on to Clinton, destroying the railroad and 
telegraph, and capturing some important dis- 
patches from General Pemberton to General Gregg, 
who had commanded the day before in the battle 
of Eaymond. Sherman moved to a parallel posi- 
tion on the Mississippi Springs and Jackson road ; 
McClernand moved to a point near Raymond. 
The rain fell in torrents through the night, making 
the roads at first slippery and then miry ; hut in 
spite of all these difficulties, Sherman and Mc- 
Pherson removed their entire forces towards Jack- 
son on the following day, and met the enemy near 
that place at about midday. 

The following graphic description of the battle 
that ensued is given by an eye witness : — 

" Slowly and cautiously we moved up the hill 
until we came within range, when all at once, upon 
the heights to the right, we discovered a puff of 
white smoke and heard the report of booming can- 
non, followed by the shrill scream of an exploding 
shell. One of our batteries was moved to the left 
of a cotton-gin in the open field, midway between 
the enemy's line of battle and the foot of the hill, 
and played upon the rebel battery with telling 
effect. The duel was kept up with great spirit on 
both sides for nearly an hour, when all at once it 
ceased by the withdrawal of the enemy's guns. 
Two brigades were thrown out to the right and left 


of this battery, supported by another brigade at 
proper distance. A strong line of skirmishers 
had been pushed forward and posted in a ravine 
just in front, which protected them from rebel tire. 
After a little delay, they were again advanced out 
of cover, and for several minutes a desultory tire 
was kept up between both lines of skirmishers, 
in which, owing to the topographical nature of the 
ground, the enemy had the advantage. 

"At last General Crocker, who was on the field 
and had personally inspected the position, saw 
that, unless the enemy could be driven from his 
occupation of the crest of the hill, he would be 
forced to retire. He therefore ordered a charge 
along the line. "With colors flying, and with a 
step as measured and unbroken as if on dress 
parade, the movement was executed. Slowly 
they advanced, crossed the narrow ravine and with 
fixed bayonets attempted to pass over the crest of 
the hill in easy range of the rebel line. Here they 
received a tremendous volley, which caused pain- 
ful gaps in their ranks. They held their fire until 
they were within a distance of thirty paces, when 
they delivered the returning volley with fearful 
effect, and, without waiting to reload their mus- 
kets, with a terrific cry they rushed upon the stag- 
gered foe. 

"Over the fences, through the brushwood, into 
the enclosure, they worked their way, and slaugh- 


tered right and left without mercy. The enemy, 
astonished at their impetuosity, wavered and fell 
back, rallied again, and finally broke in wild con- 
fusion. The brave Union soldiers gained the crest 
of the hill ; and the rebels fled in utter terror. Our 
boys reloaded their muskets and sent the terrible 
missiles after the fleeing rebels, adding haste to 
their terrified flight. They cast muskets and 
blankets to the ground, unslung their knapsacks, 
and ran like greyhounds, nor stopped to look back 
until they reached the intrenchments just within 
the city. 

" Meantime, Sherman, who had left Raymond the 
day before, and taken the road to the right just be- 
yond the town, came up with the left wing of the 
enemy's forces, and engaged them with artillery. 
After a feeble resistance they, too, broke and ran. 

" A delay of half an hour to enable our wearied 
soldiers to take breath, and then our column 
moved forward again. 

"We reached the fort and found a magnificent 
battery of six pieces which the enemy had left be- 
hind him, and a hundred new tents awaiting 

" The hospital flag was flying from the Deaf and 
Dumb Institute, and this was crowded with sick 
and wounded soldiers, who, of course, fell into 
our hands as prisoners of war. Opposite and all 
around this building were tents enough to encamp 


an entire division, and just in front of it, hauled 
out by the roadside, were two small breech-loading 
two-pounder rifles, which had been used to pick 
oft* officers. 

tf Further down the street, we found a pile of 
burning caissons, and on the opposite side of the 
street, directly in front of the Confederate House, 
the stores, filled with commissary and quartermas- 
ter's supplies, were briskly consuming. 

" Directly in front of us, the State House loomed 
up in ample proportions. Two officers, taking pos- 
session of the flag of one of the regiments, galloped 
rapidly forward, and hoisted it from the flag-staff 
surmounting its broad dome. The beautiful fln? 
was seen in the distance by the advancing column, 
and greeted with cheers and congratulations. 

" f We had captured Jackson, the hotbed of the re- 
bellion. Guards w r ere established, a provost-mar- 
shal appointed, and the city placed under martial 
law. The citizens, particularly those who had sus- 
tained official relations to the State and rebel gov- 
ernments, had left the city the evening before ; but 
there were many soldiers left behind, and a large 
number in hospital, who fell into our hands. 

"The State treasurer and Governor Pettus were 
gone, taking the funds and State papers with them. 
A large amount of government and military prop- 
erty fell into our hands ; but private property was 
altogether unmolested." 


General Grant's modest dispatch on the next 
day to Hal leek read as follows : 

" Jackson fell into our hands yesterday, after a 
fight of about three hours. Joe Johnston was in 
command. The enemy retreated north, evidently 
with the design of joining the Vicksburg forces." 

After taking possession of Jackson, the State 
capital of Mississippi, Grant obtained some valu- 
able information concerning the plans of the rebel 
army. It seemed that Johnston, as soon as he had 
learned that Jackson was to be attacked, had 
ordered Pemberton to march out from the direction 
of Vicksburg and attack the United States forces 
in the rear. Grant, therefore, immediately issued 
orders to McClernand and Blair, of Sherman's 
corps, to face their troops towards Bolton, with a 
view of marching upon Edward's Station. 

On the morning of the 15th, a division of the 
Thirteenth Army Corps occupied Bolton, taking a 
number of prisoners and driving away the rebel 
pickets from the post. 

Sherman, meanwhile, had been left in Jackson to 
destroy railroads, bridges, factories, workshops, 
arsenals, and everything valuable for the support of 
the enemy. 

On the afternoon of the 15th, Grant proceeded as 
far west as Clinton, and ordered McClernand to 
move his command early the next morning towards 
Edward's Depot, marching so as to feel the enemy 


if he encountered him, but not to bring on a gen- 
eral en<rn<rement unless confident that he was able 
to defeat the force before him. 

Early the next morning, two men who were em- 
ployed on the Jackson and Vicksburg railroad and 
had passed through Pembertons army the night 
before, were brought to General Grant's headquar- 
ters. They stated Pemberton's force to consist of 
about eighty regiments, with ten batteries of artil- 
lery, and that the whole number of troops was 
estimated by the enemy at about twenty-five thou- 
sand men. 

The intention of the rebels was to attack the 
Union forces in the rear ; so Sherman's corps, that 
was still at Jackson, was immediately ordered to 
join the main force at Bolton. At the same time 
a dispatch was sent to Blair to push forward as 
rapidly as possible in the direction of Edward's 

At an early hour, Grant left for the advance, 
and, on arriving at the crossing of the Vicksburg 
and Jackson railroad with the road from Kaymond 
to Bolton, found McPherson's advance and his 
Pioneer Corps engaged in rebuilding a bridge 
on the former road that had been destroyed by the 
cavalry of Osterhaus' Division that had gone into 
Bolton the night before. The train of Hovey's 
Division was at a halt, and blocked up the road 
from further advance on the Vicksburg road. 


Grant immediately ordered all quartermasters 
and wagonmasters to draw their teams to one side 
and make room for the passage of troops. The 
enemy had taken a very strong position on a nar- 
row ridge, the top of which was covered by a dense 
forest and undergrowth. The steep hillside to the 
left of the road was also thickly wooded, while to 
the right the timber extended a short distance 
down the hill and then opened into cultivated 
fields on a gentle slope, and into a valley extend- 
ing for a considerable distance. 

A participant in this battle of Champion's Hill 
describes it as follows : — 

" The enemy's first demonstration was upon our 
extreme left, which they attempted to turn. This 
attempt was most gallantly repulsed by General 
Smith, commanding the left wing. At seven 
o'clock, the skirmishers were actively engaged ; 
and, as the enemy sought the cover of the forest, 
our artillery fire was opened, which continued 
without intermission for two hours. At this time, 
General Ransom's Brigade marehed on the field, 
and took up a position as reserve, behind General 

"Now the battle raged fearfully along the entire 
line, the evident intention of the enemy being to 
mass his forces upon Ilovcy on the centre. There 
the fight was most earnest ; but General McPher- 
son brought his forces into the field, and after 


four hours hard fighting the tide of battle was 
turned, and the enemy forced to retire. 

" Disappointed in their movements upon our right, 
the rebels turned their attention to the left of 
Hovey's division, where Colonel Slack commanded 
a brigade of Indianians. Massing his forces here, 
the enemy hurled them against the opposing col- 
umn with irresistible impetuosity, and forced 
them to fall back ; not, however, until at least one 
quarter of the troops comprising the brigade were 
either killed or wounded. 

"Taking a new position, and receiving fresh re- 
enforcements, our soldiers again attempted to stem 
the tide, this time with eminent success. The 
enemy was beaten back, and compelled to seek 
the cover of the forest in his rear. Following up 
their advantage, without waiting to re-form, the 
soldiers of the Western army fixed their bayo- 
nets, and charged into the woods after them. The 
rebels were seized with an uncontrollable panic, 
and thought only of escape. In this terrible 
charge, men were slaughtered without mercy. 
The ground was literally covered with the dead 
and dying. The enemy scattered in every direc- 
tion, and rushed through the fields to reach the 
column now moving to the west along the Vicks- 
burg road. At three o'clock in the afternoon, 
the battle was over, and the victory won. 

" Of the part taken in this battle by McPherson's 


Corps, it is only necessary to say that it rendered 
the most efficient and satisfactory assistance. To 
it belongs the credit of winning the fight on the 
extreme right. 

" The battle ended, the left wing was speedily 
advanced upon the Vicksburg road, driving the 
enemy rapidly before them, and picking up as 
they advanced numbers of prisoners and guns. 

" On the left of the road we could see large 
squads of rebel soldiers and commands cut off 
from the main column, and whoni we engaged at 
intervals with artillery. 

"Thus we pursued the enemy until nearly dark, 
when we entered the little village known by the 
name of Edward's Station, just as the enemy was 
leaving it. 

" When within rifle range of the station, we dis- 
covered on the left a large building in flames, 
and on the right a smaller one from which, just 
then, issued a series of magnificent explosions. 
The former contained commissary stores, and the 
latter, shells and ammunition — five carloads — 
brought down from Vicksburg on the morning of 
the day of the battle. In their hasty exit from 
Edward's Station, the rebels could not take this 
ammunition with them, but consigned it to the 
flames rather than that it should fall into our 

As soon as Grant found that the enemy was in 


full retreat, he sent word to Osterhaus to push 
forward with all haste. Carr Avas also ordered to 
pursue with all speed to Black Kiver, and cross it 
if he could. Some of McPherson's troops were 
already in advance, but having marched, and en- 
gaged the enemy, all day, they were exhausted, 
and gave the road to Carr, who continued the pur- 
suit until after dark, capturing a train of cars, 
loaded with commissary and ordnance stores, and 
other property. 

This battle at Champion's Hill was one of the 
hardest fought of the whole campaign. As Mc- 
Clernand was delayed by the difficulties of the 
road, Grant directed, in person, Hovey's division 
of the Thirteenth Corps, which, with McPherson's 
command, numbered about fifteen thousand men. 
Four hundred and twenty-six on the Union side 
were killed, eighteen hundred and forty-two 
wounded, and one hundred and eighty-nine miss- 
ing. The loss of the enemy was estimated at 
between three and four thousand in killed and 
wounded ; and nearly three thousand prisoners 
were taken on the field, or during the pursuit. 
The battle-field was christened by the soldiers 
and long kept the name of the " Hill of Death." 

At daylight on the 17th, the pursuit was re- 
newed with McClernand's Corps in the advance. 
The enemy was discovered six miles to the west, 
strongly posted on both sides of the Black Kiver. 


" So strong was the position," wrote Pemberton, 
the rebel commander, "that my greatest, almost 
only apprehension, was a flank movement by 
Bridgeport, or Baldwin's Ferry, which would have 
endangered my communications with Vicksburg." 

The river, just here, makes a bend somewhat in 
the shape of a horse-shoe, open towards the east. 
On the west bank, high bluffs extend to the water's 
edge. An open cultivated bottom on the east- 
ern shore is nearly a mile wide, and surrounded 
by a bayou of stagnant water two or three feet 
in depth, and from ten to twenty feet in width, 
running from the river above the railroad to the 
river below. By following the inside line of this 
bayou, the enemy had constructed rifle-pits, with 
the bayou to serve as a ditch on the outside and 
immediately in front of them. 

Before Vicksburg could be* reached, this posi- 
tion must be gained. Carr's division occupied the 
right in investing this place, and Lawler's Brigade 
the right of his division. 

Lawler discovered, after a few hours' skirmish- 
ing, that, by moving a portion of his brigade 
under cover of the river-bank, ho could get a posi- 
tion from which that place could be successfully 
attacked, and ordered a charge accordingly. 

The following account of this struggle at Black 
River Bridge is given by an eye-witness : — 

"The battle of Big Black Bridge was fought on 


Sunday, May 17th, the clay after the battle of 
Champion's Hill. After a night's bivouac on the 
hill overlooking the village of Edward's Station, 
the column, with McClernand at its head, moved 
toward Black Kiver Bridge. 

"The intervening country loses that hilly and 
broken character which distinguishes the region 
farther east, and spreads out into a broad and fer- 
tile plain, over which we moved rapidly. There 
were no commanding hills whence the enemy could 
pour a deadly fire into our ranks ; but there were 
patches of forest, under the cover and from the 
edge of which they could easily enfilade the open 
hills by the roadside. There was such a one a 
mile east of the intrenchments where the main 
picket-guard was stationed, and here determined 
resistance was first made. 

"After skirmishing for an hour or so, during 
which the enemy gave way and sought the cover 
of his intrenchments, the order was given to the 
several brigade commanders on the right to 
advance and charge the enemy's works. The order 
was received with cheers ; and when the word 
'Forward' was spoken, steadily and splendidly 
the brave boys moved up to the assault. 

"The enemy crouched down behind the breast- 
works. A portion of them, stationed in a curtain 
of the fort, whence they were able to get a cross- 
fire upon the column, reserved their volley until 


we were within easy musket-range of the intrench- 
ments, when they swept the advancing line with 
their terrible tire. The brave boys lost in that 
fearful volley one hundred and fifty men ; yet they 
faltered not nor turned their steps backward. 
They waded the bayou, delivering their tire as 
they reached the other bank, and rushed upon the 
enemy with fixed bayonets. So quickly was all 
this accomplished, that the enemy had not time to 
reload their guns, and were forced to surrender. 

"The battle was ended, and the fort, with three 
thousand prisoners, seventeen pieces of artillery, — 
some of them captured from ourselves, and bearing 
appropriate inscriptions, — several thousand stand 
of arms, and a large supply of corn and commis- 
sary stores, fell into our hands. 

"The enemy had, earlier in the day, out of the 
hulls of three steamers, constructed a bridge, over 
which he had passed the main body of his army. 
As the charge was made, and it became evident 
that we should capture the position, they burned 
this bridge, and also the railroad bridge across the 
river, jusi above. 

"In the afternoon, several attempts were made 
to cross the river ; but the sharp-shooters lined the 
bluffs beyond, and entirely prevented it. Later, 
the main body of sharp-shooters were dispersed 
by our artillery. It was not, however, safe to 
stand upon the bank, or cross the open field east 


of the bridge until after dark, when the enemy 
withdrew altogether." 

Grant could have gone forward to Vicksburg 
that very night, if the bridges had not been 
destroyed. He immediately directed their recon- 
struction ; for at this place the Big Black is 
deep and wide, and the rebels had secured at 
least twelve hours' advance, by the destruction 
of the crossing. During the day he sent word to 
Sherman : — 

" Secure a commanding position on the west 
bank of Black Kiver as soon as you can. If the 
information you gain after crossing warrants you 
in believing you can go immediately into the city, 
do so. If there is any doubt in this matter, throw 
out troops to the left, after advancing on a line 
with the railroad bridge, to open your communica- 
tions with the troops here. AVe will then move in 
three columns, if roads can bo found to move 
on, and either have Vicksburg or Haines' Bluff 
to-morrow night. The enemy have been so ter- 
ribly beaten yesterday and to-day that I cannot 
believe a stand will be made, unless the troops 
are relying on Johnston's arriving with large 
re-enforcements ; nor that Johnston would attempt 
to re-enforce with anything at his command, if he 
was at all aware of the present condition of things." 




r I ^HE following graphic account of the advance 
and assault is given by an army correspondent 
who accompanied the main army : — 

" The army crossed the river early on Monday 
morning, over the bridge constructed during the 
night. General Osterhau's Division first crossed, 
followed by General A. J. Smith's, which in turn 
was followed by McPherson's Army Corps. Sher- 
man had continued north of the railroad from Jack- 
son, striking Big Black River a little west of 
Bridgeport. Here he crossed on his pontoon 
bridge, and moved upon the Vicksburg and Haines' 
Bluff and Spring Dale roads. McPherson moved 
out on the main Vicksburg and Jackson road, 
while McClernand took possession of the Baldwin's 
Ferry road. 

" On the summit of the high bank across the river 
the column moved through the camp whence the 
night before the enemy made his hasty exit. On 
the plateau nearest the river, before the hill is 
reached, numerous tents were left standing just as 
the occupants had hastily left them. They could 


not be destroyed under the heavy fire of our 
skirmishers posted on the hither bank of the river. 
When the hill was reached, we found abundant 
evidence of the demoralization of the enemy. 
Several piles of gun-barrels, with stocks but half- 
consumed, were lying by the roadside. Tents, 
wagons, and gun-carriages were in ashes ; corn was 
burning, and officers' baggage and soldiers' cloth- 
ing were scattered all over the camp. The column 
moved to Bovina, where no evidence of the enemy 
was seen, save a rebel hospital filled with sick and 
wounded. Here General Grant was joined by 
General Dwight from Banks' army. 

" At Mount Albans, General McClernand turned 
off on the Baldwin's Ferry road, while McPherson 
kept along the railroad upon the main Yicksburg 
road. The approaches to Yicksburg were now all 
occupied, with the exception of that by way of 
Warrenton, which was afterwards occupied by 
M( Arthur, » 

"At daylight on the 19th, General Grant pro- 
ceeded to move upon the enemy's works, a series 
of redoubts arranged with great skill, and extend- 
ing from the rear of Haines' Bluff around to the 
Warrenton road, a distance of from eight to ten 

" The ground by which they are approached is 
singularly broken — a vast plateau upon which a 
multitude of little hills seem to have been sown 


broadcast; and, of course,, the rebel redoubts were 
so disposed as to sweep every neighboring crest, 
and enfilade every approach. 

" The corps of General Sherman moved up on the 
Haines' Bluff road, by a sort of poetic justice 
taking possession of the ground by the rear which 
he had once vainly attempted to gain from the 

As Grant and Sherman rode together up the 
farthest height, where it looks down on the Yazoo 
River, the two soldiers gazed silently for a moment 
on the long-wished-for goal of the campaign — the 
high, dry ground on the north of Vicksburg, and 
the base for their supplies. 

"Until this moment,*' exclaimed Sherman, "I 
never thought your expedition a success. I never 
could see the end clearly until now. But tins is a 
campaign ; this is a success, if Ave never take the 

Grant slowly blew a whiff from his ci<rar, but 
made no reply. He had believed all along that he 
should accomplish the end he had in view, and was 
neither surprised nor elated. 

It was just twenty days since the campaign 
against Vicksburg had begun. In that time Grant 
had beaten two armies in five several battles, had 
forced the evacuation of Grand Gulf, seized the 
capital of the State, captured twenty-seven heavy 
cannon and sixty-one pieces of field artillery, in- 


vested the principal rebel stronghold on the Missis- 
sippi River, taken six thousand five hundred pris- 
oners, and killed and wounded at least six thousand 
rebels more. Moreover, he had separated forces 
twice as powerful as his own, had beaten first at 
Port Gibson a portion of Pemberton's army ; then 
at Raymond and Jackson, the troops under John- 
ston's immediate command; and yet again at 
Champion's Hill and the Big Black River the whole 
force that Pemberton dared take outside of the 
works of Vicksburg. 

It now s emed as if the time had come for a suc- 
cessful assault upon Vicksburg. Accordingly, on 
the 21st, orders were issued for a general attack 
upon the rebel defences, to be made at ten o'clock 
the next morning by the whole line ; and in order 
that there should be no mistake or difference in the 
time of movement, all the corps commanders set 
their chronometers by General Grant's. 

The following account of the assault is given by 
an eye-witness : — 

" The artillery opened a vigorous fire some time 
before the designated hour of the assault. The 
firing was excellent, almost every shot striking the 
crest of the parapet, and nearly all the shells ex- 
ploding immediately over the inner side of the 
breastworks. Of course, it is not possible to 
judge of the enemy's loss, but he certainly must have 
suffered severely during our heavy fire. Two largo 


explosions occurred within the works during the 
engagement, which were thought to be caissons. 
A large building was also destroyed by our shells. 

f ' At a given hour the troops were in motion, 
moving along the ravines, in which to assume the 
required formation and make the attack. The 
charges were most admirably executed. With per- 
fect composure the men moved up the hill, though 
not under fire, yet under the influence of a dread- 
ful anticipation of a deadly volley at close quarters. 
When within forty yards of the works, all of a 
sudden the parapet was alive with armed men, and 
in an instant more the flash of thousands of mus- 
ket s hurled death and destruction most appalling 
into the ranks of our advancing columns. Five 
hundred men lay dead or bleeding on one part of 
the field at the first fire. Bravely, against all odds, 
this command fought until its depleted ranks could 
no longer stand, when sullenly it withdrew r under 
cover of a hill near by. In addition to the heavy 
musketry fire which repelled the assault, artillery 
played with dreadful havoc upon the fading ranks, 
which, after every effort to Avin the goal, were 
obliged to give way, not to numbers, but to im- 
pregnability of position. 

K Upon the whole, as regards the designs of our 
movements, we were frustrated, but nothing more." 

Grant himself, in giving a detailed account of 
this assault, says : — 


"A portion of the commands, of each corps suc- 
ceeded in planting their flags on the outer slopes 
of the enemy's bastions, and maintained them 
there until night. Each corps had many more 
men than could possibly be used in the assault 
over such ground as intervened between them and 
the enemy. More men could only avail in the case 
of breaking through the enemy's line, or in repel- 
ling a sortie. The assault was gallant in the ex- 
treme on the part of all the troops ; but the 
enemy's position was too strong, both naturally 
and artificially, to be taken in that way. At every 
point assaulted, and at all of them at the same 
time, the enemy was able to show all the force 
his works could cover. The assault failed, I re- 
gret to say, with much loss on our side in killed 
and wounded, but without weakening the confi- 
dence of the troops in their ability to ultimately 

" No troops succeeded in entering any of the 
enemy's works, with the exception of Sergeant 
Griffith, of the Twenty-first Regiment, Iowa Vol- 
unteers, and some eleven privates of the same 
regiment. Of these none returned, except the 
sergeant and possibly one man. The work en- 
tered by him, from its position, could give us no 
practical advantage, unless others to the right and 
left of it were carried and hold at the same time. 
. . . The assault of this day proved the quality of 


the soldiers of this army. Without entire success, 
and with a heavy loss, there was no murmuring' or 
complaining, no falling back, nor other evidence 
of demoralization. 

"Alter the failure of the 22d, I determined upon 
a regular siege. The troops being now fully 
awake to the necessity of this, worked diligently 
and cheerfully." 

It had been reported in the rebel army that 
General Pemberton had "sold" the battlefields of 
Champion's Hill and Big Black River Bridge. 
After the repulse of the Union assault upon the 
fortifications at Vicksburg, Pemberton made the 
following speech to his command : — 

: ' You have heard that I was incompetent and a 
traitor, and that it was my intention to sell Vicks- 
burg. Follow me, and you will see the cost at 
which I will sell Vicksburg. When the last pound 
of beef, bacon, and flour, the last grain of corn, 
the last coic, and hog, and horse, and dog shall 
have been consumed, and the last man shall hare 
perished in the trenches, then, and onhj then, will 
1 sell Vichsbu rg ! " 

Grant had already set the sappers and miners at 
work upon the most available points. Mines were 
dug. powder planted, and everything made ready 
to blow up the advanced works, at the shortest 
notice. By June 25th, 1863, the mines were 
ready to be sprung, and the following vivid pic- 


ture of the firing and explosion is given by an eye- 
witness : — 

" Everything was finished. The vitalizing spark 
had quickened the hitherto passive agent, and the 
now harmless flashes went hurrying to the centre. 
The troops had been withdrawn. The forlorn 
hope stood out plainly in view, boldly awaiting 
the uncertainties of the precarious office. A chilling 
sensation ran through the frame, as an observer 
looked upon this devoted band about to hurl itself 
into the breach — perchance into the jaws of death. 
Thousands of men in arms flashed on every hill. 
Everyone was speechless. Even men of tried 
valor — veterans insensible to the shouts of con- 
tending battalions, or nerved to the shrieks of 
comrades suffering under the torture of painful 
agonies — stood motionless. It was the seeming 
torpor which precedes the antagonism of powerful 
bodies. Five minutes had elapsed. It seemed 
like an existence. Five minutes more, and yet no 
signs of the expected exhibition. An indescriba- 
ble sensation of impatience, blended with a still 
active anticipation, ran through the assembled spec- 
tators. Another few minutes — then the explo- 
sion ; and upon the horizon could be seen an 
enormous column of earth, dust, and timbers, and 
other projectiles lifted into the air at an altitude of 
at least eight}' feet. One entire face of the fort 
was disembodied and scattered in particles all over 


the surrounding surface. The right and left faces 
were also much damaged, but fortunately enough 
of them remained to afford an excellent protection 
on our flanks. 

" No sooner had the explosion taken place than 
the two detachments acting as the forlorn hope 
ran into the fort and sap, as already mentioned. 
A brisk musketry fire at once commenced between 
the two parties, with about equal effect upon either 

"The explosion of the mine was the signal for 
the opening of the artillery of the entire line. 
The left division of General McPherson's Seven- 
teenth or Centre Corps opened first, and dis- 
charges were repeated along the left through Gen- 
eral Ord's Thirteenth Corps, and Herron's extreme 
"left division" until the sound struck the ear like 
the mutterings of distant thunder. General Sher- 
man, on the right, also opened his artillery about 
the same time and occupied the enemy's attention 
along his front. Every shell struck the parapet, 
and, bounding over, exploded in the midst of the 
enemy's forces beyond. The scene at this time 
was one of the utmost sublimity. The roar of ar- 
tillery, rattle of small arms, the cheer of the men, 
flashes of light, wreaths of pale blue smoke over 
different parts of the held, the bursting of shell, 
the fierce whistle of solid shot, the deep boom of 
the mortars, the broadsides of the ships at war, 


and, added to all this, the vigorous replies of the 
enemy, set up a din which beggars all description. 
The peculiar configuration of the field afforded an 
opportunity to witness almost every battery and 
every rifle-pit within seeing distance, and it is due 
to all the troops to say that everyone did his duty. 

"After the possession of the fort was no longer in 
doubt, the pioneer corps mounted the work with 
their shovels, and set to throwing up earth vigor- 
ously in order to secure space for artillery. A 
most fortunate peculiarity in the explosion was 
the maimer in which the earth was thrown out. 
The appearance of the place was that of a funnel, 
with heavy sides running up to the very crest of 
the parapet, affording admirable protection not 
only for our troops and pioneers, but turned out a 
ready made fortification in the rough, which, 
with a slight application of the shovel and pick, 
was ready to receive the guns to be used at this 

" Miraculous as it may seem, amid all the fiery 
ordeal of this afternoon's engagement, one hun- 
dred killed and two hundred wounded is a largo 
estimate of casualties on our side." 

The terse, emphatic style in which General 
Grant called for vigilance on the part of his troops, 
is shown in the following;- order to General Ord : — 

"McPherson occupies the crater made by the 
explosion. He will have guns there by morning. 


lie has been hard at work running rifle-pits right, 
and thinks he %vill hold all gained. Keep Smith's 
division sleeping under arms to-night ready for an 
emergency. Their services may be required, par- 
ticularly about daylight. There should be the 
greatest vigilance along the whole line." 

r>v the 1st of July, the approaches in many 
places had reached the enemy's ditch. At ten 
different points, Grant could put the heads of reg- 
iments under cover, within distances of from five to 
one hundred yards of the rebel works, and the 
men of the two armies conversed across the lines. 

During the bombardment every effort had been 
made to reduce the rebel works without doing 
unnecessary damage. 

"At no time," wrote one who was present at 
the siege, f 'has General Grant sought the destruc- 
tion of the city. lie wishes to spare it for the 
city itself, and because it contains women and 
children. As long as the rebel army confines its 
operations outside its limits, the city will remain 
intact. If it had been necessary to destroy the 
city, our guns now in range could have accom- 
plished the work. 

" The capture of Vicksburg is a foregone conclu- 
sion. We get the evidence of the fact from the 
rebels themselves. A few days ago a rebel mail 
was captured coming out from Vicksburg, in 
which were letters from prominent men in the 


rebel army who state that they cannot hold out 
much longer, and informing their friends that 
they expect to spend their summer in northern 
prisons. Better evidence of the condition of 
things in the rebel army cannot be desired. 

" So nir as the siege of this place goes, I presume 
the people at home, in their easy chairs, think it 
ought to have been finished long since. To such 
let me say, could they be present here and make a 
tour of the country in this vicinity, and see the 
configuration of the country, its broken topog- 
raphy, its high and abrupt hills, deep gullies, 
gorges, and dilapidated roads, they would then 
realize the difficulties of the work. Then there is 
a large army to feed, great material to be brought 
into position, all of which demands large transpor- 
tation, and the united efforts of thousands of men. 
General Grant acts independently of the opinions 
of the public. He fully realizes the responsibility 
of his position, and in the duty before him he is 
determined to accomplish his work with as great 
an economy of human life as possible. He feels 
now that the prize is within his grasp, and a little 
patience will achieve all, which, if rashly sought, 
might cost the lives of the brave army with whom 
he has gained so many victories." 

Grant had determined to make the final assault 
on the morning of the 6th of July, but on the 3d 
he received from Pemberton the following commu- 
nication : — 


" I have the honor to propose to you an armis- 
tice for hours, with a view to arranging 

terms for the capitulation of Vicksburg. To this 
end, if agreeable to you, I will appoint three com- 
missioners, to meet a like number named by your- 
self at such place and point as you may find 
convenient. I make this proposition to save the 
further effusion of blood, which must otherwise be 
shed to a frightful extent, feeling myself fully able 
to maintain my position for a yet indefinite period. 
This communication will be handed to you, under 
a flag of truce, by Major-general John S. Bowen." 

Grant's reply read as follows : — 

"Your note of this date is just received, propos- 
ing an armistice for several hours, for the purpose 
of arranging terms of capitulation through com- 
missioners, to be appointed, etc. The useless 
effusion of blood you propose stopping by this 
course can be ended at any time you may choose 
by the unconditional surrender of the city and gar- 
rison. Men who have shown so much endurance 
and courage as those now in Vicksburg will 
always challenge the respect of an adversary, and 
I can assure you will be treated with all the 
respect due to prisoners of war. I do not favor 
the proposition of appointing commissioners to ar- 
range the terms of capitulation, because I have no 
terms other than those indicated above." 

A personal interview was desired by Pemberton, 


to which Grant readily acceded ; and about three 
o'clock in the afternoon the two commanders met 
under the outspreading branches of a gigantic oak, 
within two hundred feet of the rebel line. 

After shaking hands Pemberton remarked : — 

" General Grant, I meet you in order to arrange 
terms for the capitulation of the city of Vicksburg 
and its garrison. What terms do you demand ? " 

"Unconditional surrender; the same that I ex- 
pressed in my letter this morning," answered 

"Unconditional surrender?" said Pemberton. 
" Never, so long as I have a man left me ! I will 
fight rather." 

"Very well," replied Grant, "you can continue 
the defence. My army has never been in a better 
condition for the prosecution of the siege." 

General Bowen then proposed that two of the 
subordinate officers present should retire for con- 
sultation. Grant had no objection to this, but 
would not, of course, consider himself bound by 
any agreement of his subordinates. 

After a long conversation the generals separated, 
Grant agreeing to send his terms to Pemberton 
before ten o'clock that evening. 

These terms read as follows : — 

" In conformity with the Agreement of this afternoon, I 
will submit the following proposition for the surrender of 
the city of Vicksburg, public stores, etc. On your accept- 


[ng the terms proposed, I will march in one division, as a 
guard, and take possession at eight o'clock to-morrow morn- 
ing. As soon as paroles can be made out and signed by 
officers and men, you will be allowed to march out of our 
lines, the officers taking with them their regimental cloth- 
ing; and staff, field, and cavalry officers, one horse each. 
The rank and file will be allowed all their clothing, but no 
other property. 

" If these conditions are accepted, any amount of rations 
you may deem necessary can be taken from the stores you 
now have, and also the necessary cooking utensils for pre- 
paring them ; thirty wagons also, counting two two-horse 
or mule teams as one. You will be allowed to transport 
such articles as cannot be carried along. The same condi- 
tions will be allowed to all sick and wounded officers and 
privates, as fast as they become able to travel. The paroles 
for these latter must be signed, however, whilst officers are 
present, authorized to sign the role of prisoners." 

A little after midnight, the following reply was 
received from Pemberton : — 

" I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication of this date, proposing terms of capitulation 
for this garrison and post. In the main, your terms are ac- 
cepted ; but, in justice both to the honor and spirit of my 
troops, manifested in the defence of Vicksburg, I have to 
submit the following amendments, which, if acceded to by 
you, will perfect the agreement between us. At ten o'clock 
A. M. tomorrow, I propose to evacuate the works in and 
around Vicksburg, and to surrender the city and garrison 
under my command, by marching out with my colors and 
arms, stacking them in front of my present lines, after which 
you will take possession. Officers to retain their side-arms 
and personal property, and the rights and property of citi- 
zens to be respected." 


Grant immediately replied : — 

" I have the honor to .acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication of the 3d of July. The amendment pro- 
posed by you cannot be acceded to in full. It will be neces- 
sary to furnish every officer and man with a parole signed 
by himself, which, with the completion of the roll of prison- 
ers, will necessarily take some time. Again, I can make no 
stipulations with regard to the treatment of citizens and 
their private property. While I do not propose to cause 
them any undue annoyance or loss, I cannot consent to leave 
myself under restraint by stipulations. The property which 
officers will be allowed to take with them will be as stated 
in my proposition of last evening : that is, officers will be 
allowed their private baggage and side-arms, and mounted 
officers one horse each. If you mean by your proposition 
for each brigade to march to the front of the lines now oc- 
cupied by it, and stack arms at ten o'clock A. M., and then 
return to the inside and there remain as prisoners until 
properly paroled, I will make no objection to it. Should no 
notification be received of your acceptance of my terms by 
nine o'clock A. M., I shall regard them as having been re- 
jected, and shall act accordingly. Should these terms be 
accepted, white flags should be displayed along j'our lines 
to prevent such of my troops as may not have been notified, 
from firing upon your men." 

After a short consultation with his general offi- 
cers, Pemberton sent the following reply : — 

" I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication of this day, and in reply to say that the 
terms proposed by you are accepted." 

An army correspondent who was at Grant's 
headcpuarters that morning said : — 


" I found the general more animated in conver- 
sation than I had ever known him. He was evi- 
dently contented with the manner in which he had 
acquitted himself of the responsible task which had 
for more than five months engrossed his mind and 
his army. The consummation is one of which he 
may well be proud. From Bruinsburg to Vicks- 
burg, nineteen days, presents one of the most ac- 
tive records of marches, actions, and victories of the 
war. It is unparalleled, the only campaign of the 
war which involved such celerity of movement, at- 
tack, victory, pursuit, and humiliation of the 

Soon after ten o'clock on the morning of July 
4th, the rebel works were surmounted by a large 
number of white flags along the entire line. The 
enemy then marched out from Vicksburg, stacked 
their arms in front of the conquerors, and re- 
turned inside the works, prisoners of war, await- 
ing their parole. 

When Pemberton was asked why the 4th of July 
was selected for the surrender, he answered : — 

" I believed that upon that day I should obtain 
better terms. Well aware of the vanity of our 
foes, I knew they would attach vast importance to 
the entrance on the 4th of July into the strong- 
hold of the great river, and that, to gratify their 
national vanity, they would yield then what could 
not be extorted from them at any other time."' 


In Alison's History of Europe, the Ulm cam- 
paign, under Napoleon, is described as rf unpar- 
alled in modern warfare, and sufficient to have 
turned the strongest head." On a certain memora- 
ble morning, the garrison of Ulm, thirty thousand 
strong, with sixty pieces of cannon, marched out 
of the fortress to lay down its arms. 

But in this surrender of Vicksburg, thirty-one 
thousand six hundred men were taken, and one 
hundred and seventy-two cannon — the largest cap- 
ture of men and material ever made in war 

When Grant reported to his chief the final re- 
sult of the campaign, he received fromHalleck the 
following reply : — 

" Your report, dated July 6th, of your campaign in Mis- 
sissippi ending in the capitulation of Vicksburg, was re- 
ceived last evening. Your narration of the campaign, like 
the operations themselves, is brief, soldierly, and in every 
respect creditable and satisfactory. In boldness of plan, 
rapidity of execution, and brilliancy of routes, these opera- 
tions will compare most favorably with those of Napoleon 
about Ulm. You and your army have well deserved the 
gratitude of your country, and it will be the boast of your 
children that their fathers were of the heroic army which 
re-opened the Mississippi River." 

President Lincoln sent his congratulations as 
follows : — 

"My Dear General, — I do not remember that you 
and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful 
acknowledgment for the almost inestimable service you 


have done the country. I wish to say a word farther. 
When you first reached the vicinity of Vieksburg, I thought 
you should do what you finally did, — march the troops 
across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and 
thus go below ; and I never had any faith, except a gen- 
eral hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo 
Pass expedition and the like could succeed. When you got 
below and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf and vicinity, I 
thought you should go down the river and join General 
Banks : and when you turned northward, east of the Big 
Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make a 
personal acknowledgment that you were right and I was 

The grade of major-general in the regular army 
Avas immediately conferred upon Grant, and the 
country rang with his praise. The victory at Get- 
tysburg, as will be remembered, came upon this 
same 4th of July ; and never, since the opening of 
the war, had the prospects of the Union cause 
seemed brighter. 




TI)Y one o'clock on this glorious 4th of July, 
■^-^ everything was in readiness for the entrance 
of the city by the national troops. As General 
Logan's division was one of those which had ap- 
proached nearest the rebel works, it was given the 
honor of first entering the town. The Forty-fifth 
Illinois Infantry, under Colonel Maltby, led the 
column, in consequence of heroic conduct through 
the siege, and placed its battle-torn flag on the 
dome of the Vicksburff Court House. Admiral 
Porter, with his fleet down the river, caught a 
glimpse of the " star-spangled banner " as he 
pointed his field-glass towards Vicksburg ; and in 
due time his vessel steamed down to the city, fol- 
lowed by all the gunboats in the neighborhood, 
and took possession of the river front. 

General Grant rode into Vicksburs: with his 
staff, at the head of Logan's Division. He went 
directly to one of the rebel headquarters, Avhere 
Pemberton was sitting with his generals. They 
saluted him, but no one was courteous enough to 
ofler him a seat. It was a hot, dusty day, and he 


asked for a drink of water. They told him that 
he could find it inside, and by other marks of rude- 
ness showed how little they appreciated the mag- 
nanimity of a victor who had allowed them to 
retain both their arms and their personal prop- 

Pemberton's first request was that Grant should 
supply the garrison with rations. To this he im- 
mediately consented, and asked how many would 
be needed. 

" I have thirty-two thousand men," was the 

This was the first intimation that Grant had of 
the extent of his victory. He had supposed the 
garrison to consist of not more than fifteen or 
twenty thousand men. 

A writer whose sympathies were strongly with 
the South gave the following tribute to Grant, 
upon hearing of the surrender of Vicksburg : — 

" General Grant is a noble fellow, and by the terms 
of capitulation he accorded to the heroic garrison showed 
himself as generous as Napoleon was to Wurmser at the 
surrender of Mantua. His deed will read well in history, 
and he has secured to himself a name which posterity will 
pronounce with veneration and gratitude. There is no 
general in this country or in Europe that has done harder 
work than General Grant, and none that has better graced 
his victories by the exercise of humanity and virtue. What 
we learn of the terms of the capitulation is sufficient to 
prove General Grant to be a generous soldier and a man. 
A truly brave man respects bravery in others, and, when 


the sword is sheathed, considers himself free to follow the 
dictates of humanity. General Grant is not a general that 
makes his progress by proclamations to frighten unarmed 
men, women, and children ; he flatters no one to get himself 
puffed; but ho is terrible in arms and magnanimous after 
the battle." 

As soon as General Gardner, the rebel com- 
mander at Port Hudson, beard that Vicksburg had 
surrendered, he sent a despatch to General Banks, 
proposing a capitulation ; this post was taken 
without bloodshed, and in the words of Lincoln, 
"the Father of Waters now rolled unvexed to the 

When General Grant learned that Johnston 
intended to attack him in the rear, he ordered 
Sherman to resist his advance. The rebel gen- 
eral, on finding the Union troops had been sent in 
pursuit of his forces, fell back within the defences 
of Jackson, the Mississippi State capital. 

July 12th, Grant wrote as follows to Halleck : — 

" General Sherman has Jackson invested from Pearl 
River on the north, to the river on the south. This has cut 
off many hundred cars from the Confederacy. Sherman 
says he has forces enough, and feels no apprehension about 
the result. 

" Finding that Yazoo City was being fortified, I sent 
General Herron there with his Division. He captured sev- 
eral hundred prisoners and one steamboat. Five pieces of 
heavy artillery and all the public stores fell into our hands. 
The enemy burned three steamboats on the approach of the 


"The De Kalb was blown up and sunk in fifteen feet of 
water by the explosion of a torpedo. 

" Finding that the enemy were crossing cattle for the 
rebel army at Natchez, and were said to have several thou- 
sand there, I have sent steamboats and troops to collect 
them and destroy all boats and means for making more." 

On the 18th, he wrote : — 

"Joe Johnston evacuated Jackson on the night of the 
16th instant. lie is now in full retreat east. Sherman 
says most of Johnston's army must perish from heat, lack 
of water, and general discouragement. The army paroled 
here at Vicksburg have to a great extent deserted, and are 
scattered over the country in every direction. 

" Learning that Yazoo City was being fortified, I sent 
General Herron there. Five guns were captured, many 
stores, and about three hundred prisoners. 

" General Ransom was sent to Natchez to stop the cross- 
ing of cattle for the eastern army. On arrival, he found 
that largo numbers had been driven out of the city to be 
pastured; also, that munitions of war had recently been 
crossed over to wait for Kirby Smith. He mounted about 
(wo hundred of his men, and sent them in both directions. 
They captured a number of prisoners, and five thousand 
head of Texas cattle, two thousand head of which were 
sent to General Banks. The balance have been or will 
be brought here. 

" In Louisiana they captured more prisoners and a num- 
ber of teams loaded with ammunition. Over two million 
rounds of ammunition were brought back to Natchez 
with tin; teams captured, and two hundred and sixty- 
eight thousand rounds, besides artillery ammunition, were 

During Grant's occupation of Vicksburg, a.major 


in the rebel army, who had formerly served in the 
same regiment of the United States with Grant, 
was his prisoner. Grant treated him with the 
utmost kindness and invited him to his private 
apartment. The rebel major was touched, and 
said confidentially to his captor, — 

"I tell you what it is, Grant, I'm not much 
of a rebel after all ; and when I am paroled, the 
whole concern may go to the dogs ! " 

Halleck had feared that the paroling of prisoners 
at Vicksburo; might be construed into an absolute 
release, and that the men would be immediately 
placed in the ranks of the enemy ; his first despatch 
to Grant, therefore, after the capitulation, were 
words of rebuke rather than of commendation. 

His countermand, however, came too late. The 
whole garrison had been paroled not to take up 
arms against the United States until exchanged by 
the proper authorities, and had already left Vicks- 
burg. These terms really proved more favorable 
to the government than an unconditional surren- 
der, as Grant thus saved the expense of feeding 
thirty thousand prisoners, and also secured his 
troops and transports for the movement against 

The army that had been paroled was virtually 
discharged from the rebel service ; thousands 
crossed the Mississippi and went West, many 
begged a passage to the North, and not a few ex- 


pressed a strong desire to enter the ranks of the 
Union army. 

In the despatch to Halleck on the 18th of July, 
announcing the second capture of Jackson and the 
completion of the Vicksburg campaign, Grant 
said, — 

" It seems to me, now, that Mobile should be 
captured, the expedition starting from Lake Pon- 

Halleck, however, had other plans, and re- 
plied : — 

"Before attempting Mobile, I think it will be 
best to clean up a little. Johnston should be dis- 
posed of, also Price and Marmaduke, so as to hold 
line of the Arkansas Kiver. This will enable us to 
withdraw troops from Missouri. Vicksburg and 
Port Hudson should be repaired, so as to be tena- 
ble by small garrisons ; also, assist Banks in 
clcarinir out western Louisiana. When these 
things are accomplished, there will be a large 
available force to operate either on Mobile or 
Texas. Navy is not ready for co-operation ; 
should Sumter fall, then ironclads can be sent to 
assist at Mobile." 

If Grant's suggestion had been acted on, before 
the rebels could have time to recover from the 
Vicksburg campaign, there is little doubt but that 
Mobile would have at once fallen, and the war 
shortened by at least a year. On the 24th of 


July, Grant renewed his suggestion and wrote to 
Halleck, " It seems to me that Mobile is the 
point deserving the most attention." 

Again, on the 1st of August, he says : "Mobile 
can be taken from the Gulf Department, with 
only one or two gunboats to protect the debarka- 
tion. I can send the necessary force. With your 
leave I would like to visit New Orleans, particu- 
larly if the movement against Mobile is authorized." 

As Halleck still refused his permission, Grant on 
the 25th of September again urged him to recon- 
sider the subject : " I am confident that Mobile 
could now be taken, with comparatively a small 
force. At least, a demonstration in that direction 
would either result in the abandonment of the 
city, or force the enemy to weaken Bragg's army 
to hold it." 

Five days later he adds : " I regret that I have 
not got a movable force with which to attack 
Mobile, or the river above. As I am situated, 

however, I must be contented with guarding terri- 

© © 

tory already taken from the enemy." 

While at Vicksburg, Grant sent supplies of 
medicine and provisions to the rebel sick at Ray- 
mond, and told Sherman that when families had 
been deprived of all their subsistence by Union 
troops, it was only fair the same articles should be 
issued in return. 

"It should be our policy now," he said, "to 


make as favorable an impression upon the people 
of this State as possible. Impress upon the men 
the importance of going through the State in an 
orderly manner, refraining from taking anything 
not absolutely necessary for their subsistence 
while travelling. They should try to create as 
favorable an impression as possible upon the peo- 
ple, and advise them, if it will do any good, to 
make efforts to have law and order established 
within the Union." 

On the 7th of August, in obedience to orders 
from Washington, Grant sent Ord's entire com- 
mand to Banks, and was himself advised to co-op- 
erate with that commander, by sending a small 
force from Natchez into Louisiana. Grant had 
been informed : — 

"General Banks has been left at liberty to 
select his own objective point in Texas, and may 
determine to move by sea. If so, your movement 
will not have his support, and should be conducted 
with caution. You will confer on this matter 
freely with General Banks. The government is 
exceedingly anxious that our troops should occupy 
some points in Texas with the least possible delay." 

Grant started, accordingly, in person for New 
Orleans upon the 30th of August, notifying Hal- 
leek : " General Banks is not yet off, and I am 
desirous of seeing him before he starts, to learn 
his plans, and see how I may help him." 


As Sherman was next in rank, Grant of course 
proposed to leave him in command ; but that offi- 
cer preferred to have all orders still issued in 
Grant's name, with his (Sherman's) advice and 

(t With such men as Sherman and McPherson," 
said Grant, "commanding corps or armies, there 
will never be any jealousies or lack of hearty co-op- 

It was one of Grant's most notable traits that he 
always desired to give honor wherever it was due, 
and in his official report of the Vicksburg cam- 
paign he paid the following fine tribute to 
Porter : — 

" I cannot close this report," he says, " without an ex- 
pression of thankfulness for my good fortune in being 
placed in co-operation with an officer of the navy who ac- 
cords to every move that seems for the interest and success 
of our arms, his hearty and energetic support. Admiral 
Porter and the very efficient officers under him have ever 
shown the greatest readiness in their co-operation, no matter 
what was to be done, or what risk to be taken, either by their 
men or their vessels. Without this prompt and cordial sup- 
port my movements would have been embarrassed, if not 
wholly defeated." 

In honor of the victories gained by General 
Grant with the Army of the Tennessee, a beauti- 
ful sword was presented to him by the officers 
under his command. The handle represented the 
carved figure of a young giant crushing the rebel- 


lion ; and the scabbard was of solid silver with ap- 
propriate and exquisite designs. 

The President honored the " conquering hero " 
by appointing him to the vacant major-generalship 
in the regular army of the United States, with a 
commission dating from the occupation of Vicks- 
burg, July 4th, 1863. 




^ni-IE negroes in the Department having all be- 
-*- come free by virtue of President Lincoln's 
proclamation and the occupation of the country by 
the United States authorities, Grant issued upon 
the 10th of August, 1863, the following order: — 

" At all military posts in States within the Department of 
the Tennessee where slavery has been abolished by the 
proclamation of the President of the United States, camps 
will be established for such freed people of color as are out 
of employment. 

" Commanders of posts or districts will detail suitable 
officers from the army as superintendents of such camps. It 
will be the duty of such superintendents to see that suitable 
rations are drawn from the Subsistence Department for such 
people as are confided to their care. 

" All such persons will be employed in every practicable 
way so as to avoid, as far as possible, their becoming a bur- 
den upon the Government. They may be hired to planters 
or other citizens on proper assurance that the negroes so 
hired will not be run off beyond the military jurisdiction of 
the United States; they may be employed upon any public 
works, in gathering crops from abandoned plantations, and 
generally in any manner local commanders may deem for 
the best interests of the Government, in compliance with law 
and the policy of the Administration. 


" It will be the duty of the provost marshal at every 
military post to see that every negro within the jurisdiction 
of the military authorities is employed by some white per- 
son, or is sent to the camp provided for freed people. 

" Citizens may make contracts with freed persons of color 
for their labor, giving wages per month in money, or em- 
ploy families of them by the year on plantations, etc., feed- 
ing, clothing and supporting the infirm as well as able- 
bodied, and giving a portion, not less than one-twentieth of 
the commercial part of their crops, in payment for such 

" Where negroes are employed under this authority, the 
parties employing will register with the provost marshal 
their names, occupation, and residence, and the number of 
negroes so employed. They will enter into such bonds as 
the provost marshal, with the approval of the local com- 
mander, may require for the kind treatment and proper care 
of those employed, and as security against their being 
carried beyond the employer's jurisdiction. 

" Nothing of this order is to be construed to embarrass the 
employment of such colored persons as may be required by 
the Government. 1 ' 

At the beginning of the rebellion, Grant was not 
an abolitionist ; the salvation of the Union was to 
him the paramount question ; but when the 
government determined first to free, and then to 
arm the negroes, Grant was ready to co-operate. 

The rebels at first refused to recognize the black 
troops as soldiers, and declared that if captured 
they should be treated as runaway slaves, and 
their officers as thieves and robbers. Grant, hear- 
ing that a white captain and some negro soldiers, 


taken prisoners at Milliken's Bend, had been 
hanged, wrote to General Richard Taylor, then 
commanding the rebel forces in Louisiana : — 

" I feel no inclination to retaliate for the offences of irre- 
sponsible persons ; but, if it is the policy of any general in- 
trusted with the command of troops to show no quarter, or 
to punish with death prisoners taken in battle, I will accept 
the issue. It may be you propose a different line of policy 
towards black troops, and officers commanding them, to 
that practised towards white troops. If so, I can assure you 
that these colored troops are regularly mustered into the 
service of the United States. The Government, and all 
officers under the Government, are bound to give the same 
protection to these troops that they do to any other troops." 

General Taylor replied that he would punish all 
such acts, " disgraceful alike to humanity and the 
reputation of soldiers ; " but declared that officers 
of the " Confederate States Army " were required 
to turn over to the civil authorities, to be dealt with 
accordino; to the laws of the States wherein such 
were captured, all negroes captured in arms. 

Hon. Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of the 
Treasury, strongly favored the question of alio wing- 
trade to be carried on in the conquered regions, 
and wrote Grant : — 

" I find that a rigorous line within districts occupied by 
our military forces, from beyond which no cotton or other 
produce can be brought, and within which no trade can be 
carried on, gives rise to serious and to some apparently 
well-founded complaints. 11 


He wished to substitute bonds — at least to sub- 
stitute them partially — to be given by all persons 
receiving permits, for the rigorous line then estab- 
lished, but Grant wrote in reply : — 

" My experience in West Tennessee has convinced rne 
that any trade whatever with the rebellious States is 
weakening to us of at least thirty-three percent, of our force. 
No matter what the restrictions thrown around trade, if any 
whatever is allowed, it will be made the means of supplying 
the enemy what they want. Restrictions, if lived up to, 
make trade unprofitable, and hence none but dishonest men 
go into it. I will venture to say that no honest man has 
made money in West Tennessee in the last year, while many 
fortunes have been made there during the time. The people 
in the Mississippi Valley are now nearly subjugated. Keep 
trade out but for a few months, and I doubt not but that the 
work of subjugation will be so complete that trade can be 
opened freely with the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, and 
Mississippi. . . . "No theory of my own" he adds in con- 
clusion, " will ever stand in the way of my executing in good 
faith any order I may receive from those in authority over me; 
but my position has given me an opportunity of seeing what 
could not be known by persons away from the scene of war, 
and I venture, therefore, great caution in opening trade 
with rebels." 

Notwithstanding all his arguments, however, a 
limited trade was opened with the rebels, and the 
results prophesied by Grant rapidly followed. 

Grant arrived at New Orleans on the 2d day of 
September, and the next day it was announced 
that the trade of the city of New Orleans with 
Cairo, St. Louis, and the cities and towns of the 


Upper Mississippi, the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, 
was declared free from any military restriction 
whatever. At intermediate points within the De- 
partment of the Gulf, the trade of the Mississippi 
was held subject only to such limitations as might 
prove necessary to prevent the supply of pro- 
visions and munitions of war to the Confederates. 
On the 4th of September, Grant held at New 
Orleans a grand review of the Thirteenth Army 
Corps, which had been under his command at 
Vicksburg, but afterwards transferred to General 
Banks. During this review, Grant, being mounted 
on a strange horse, was suddenly thrown from his 
seat and severely injured. For twenty days he 
was confined to one position, and could not return 
to Vicksburg till the 16th of September. On the 
19th he wrote : — 

"I am still confined to my bed, being flat on my back. 
My injuries are severe, but still not dangerous. ... I will 
still endeavor to perform my duties, and hope soon to re- 
cover, that I may be able to take the field at any time I may 
be called to do so. 1 ' 

He was, however, obliged to keep his bed till 
the 25th, and for two months afterwards could only 
walk with crutches. On the 19th and 20th of Sep- 
tember, Rosecrans suffered a severe repulse on 
the Chickamauga River, nine miles from Chatta- 
nooga ; and being obliged to retire to the latter 
place, he was here nearly surrounded by a superior 


rebel army. On the 29th Halleck telegraphed to 
Grant : — 

"The enemy seems to have concentrated on Rosecrans all 
his available force from every direction. To meet him, it is 
necessary that all the forces that can be spared in your de- 
partment be sent to Rosecrans 1 assistance. ... An able 
commander like Sherman or McPherson should be selected. 
As soon as your health will permit, I think you should goto 
Nashville and take the direction of this movement." 

Grant had written on the 28th : " I am now 
ready for the field, or any duty I may be called 
upon to perform," and on the 30th, in reply to 
Halleck, he said : — 

" All, I believe, is now moving according to your wishes. 
I have ten thousand five hundred men to hold the river from 
here to Bayou Lara. ... I regret that there should be nn 
apparent tardiness in complying with your orders; but I 
assure you that as soon as your wishes were known, troops 
were forwarded as rapidly as transportation could be pro- 

Halleck replied at once : — 

" Although the re-enforcements from your army for Gen- 
eral Rosecrans did not move as soon or as rapidly as was 
expected, no blame whatever attaches to you. I know your 
promptness too well to think for a moment that this delay 
was any fault of yours." 

Soon after, the following- despatch was re- 
ceived : — 

"It is the wish of the Secretary of War that as soon as 
General Grant is able to take the held, he will come to Cairo 
and report by telegraph." 


Having' arrived at Cairo and informed Halleck of 
the fact, he received further orders as follows : — 

" You will immediately proceed to the Gait House, Louis- 
ville, Ky., where you will meet an officer of the War De- 
partment with your orders and instructions. You will take 
with you your staff, etc., for immediate operations in the 

On his way, he was met at Indianapolis by the 
Secretary of War, Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, who 
brought with him from Washington an order 
creating for Grant a new and much larger com- 
mand. The order read as follows : — 

" By direction of the President of the United States, the 
Departments of the Ohio, of the Cumberland, and of the 
Tennessee, will constitute the military division of the Mis- 
sissippi. Major-general U. S. Grant, United States Army, 
is placed in command of the military division of the Missis- 
sippi, with his headquarters in the field. 

"Major-general W. S. Rosecrans, U. S. Volunteers, is 
relieved from the command of the Department and Army of 
the Cumberland. Major-general G. II. Thomas is hereby 
assigned to that command, by order of the Secretary of 

The whole party then proceeded on their jour- 
ney to Louisville, and found at the Gait House a 
wondering crowd, eager to catch a glimpse of the 
hero of Vicksburg. The prevailing impression 
seemed to be that General Grant must be a sort of 

" Why ! " exclaimed one of the natives, " I 


thought he was a large man. He would he con- 
sidered a small chance of a fighter if he lived in 
Kentucky ! " 

The new command of General Grant covered a 
larger area and controlled a greater number of 
troops than any ever held by a general before the 
grade of a <reneral-in-chief. He had now under 
his direction four of the largest armies in the field, 
commanded by Generals Sherman, Thomas, Burn- 
side, and Hooker, and to these General Foster's 
column was afterwards added. The country em- 
braced in this new command included the States of 
Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, 
Tennessee, Mississippi, Northern Alabama, and 
Northwestern Georgia. 

The opposing rebel forces were also of a formi- 
dable character. To General Bragg's own troops 
had been added Longstreet's and Hill's corps from 
the Virginian army. Besides Johnston's co-ope- 
rating force of 30,000 men, the Confederate army 
had been still further strengthened by a brigade of 
infantry, and a cavalry division of from 5,000 to 
6,000 operating between Jackson and the Big 
Black, under General S. D. Lee. 




"VTTHEN the rebellion first broke out, the im- 
portant strategic position of Chattanooga was 
at once perceived by military men. The town lies 
at the base of a lofty ridge of the Cumberland 
Mountains, which serve as a sort of natural boun- 
dary between the cotton States and the grain-grow- 
ing plains of Kentucky and Tennessee. The name 
itself (Chattanoogo) means " Eagle's Nest ;" but the 
crest is now called by its English name, " Lookout 
Mountain," while the southern point is known as 
Missionary Ridge, because the Indians would not 
allow the early missionaries to proceed further. 
The whole region embraces one of the most impor- 
tant avenues for access to the South, and the rail- 
roads from Memphis and Charleston and Richmond 
and Nashville and Atlanta meet here at Chatta- 

Rosecrans, with his defeated army, had now 
withdrawn into the town of Chattanooga, and 
thrown up a formidable line of works, so close that 
some of the houses were left outside. Bragg had 
instantly taken possession of Missionary Ridge, 


which is about four hundred feet high, three miles 
from the Tennessee River, and just south and east 
of Chattanooga. After the unfortunate battle of 
Chickamauga, the post on Lookout Mountain had 
been abandoned by the Union troops and instantly 
occupied by the rebels, who saw at once that it Mas 
the key to the whole position. By seizing the 
railroad just at the base of the mountain, they cut 
off the supplies of the national troops, and threat- 
ened to starve out the whole army entrenched 

But General Grant was now on the ground and 
determined to re-open the valley route at all hazards. 
How this Avas done is graphically described by a 
participant in Hooker's column : — 

"The early morning of the 28th ofOctoher opened with a 
clear, bright, beautiful moonlight, the scenery on every side 
traced in dark sombre on the background of the sky. High, 
towering mountains — the Raccoon Mountain on one side, 
and the Lookout Mountain on the other — and the valley, 
diversified by open fields and small clumps of woods, formed 
a curious picture. On Lookout Mountain bright fires 
burned, and told us too plainly where to look for the enemy 
and his signal ofiicei\s. Our camp-fires burned brightly, and 
our line lay on a parallel with what was the enemy's on the 
day previous. Two divisions were encamped on the left or 
front of our line. Another division, General Geary's, was 
in bivouac, about one mile and a half from the other two 
divisions. Between the two sections of the command the 
enemy held a position on the Chattanooga road proper, as 
also on the railroad. 


" Suddenly the Union troops were aroused by the heavy 
firing in General Geary's direction. At once preparation 
was made for a general engagement. The troops were soon 
in column, and the trains and ambulances got in readiness 
for the emergency. As they pressed forward on the road to 
join General Geary, the enemy opened a heavy fire of 
musketry from a high hill close to their line of advance. At 
once our commanding generals comprehended the state of 
affairs. The enemy had intended their movement to be a 
surprise; and one with a view to the probable surrounding 
and possible capture of Geary's force. From prisoners taken 
during the fight that ensued, we learned that General Long- 
street, on beholding our column move up the Lookout Val- 
ley towards Chattanooga, quietly massed two divisions on 
Lookout Mountain and moved them up to and across Lookout 
Creek, with a view to the carrying out of the plan of his sur- 
prise movement. About eight P. M., he moved his division 
across the creek. One division passed on to the Chattanooga 
road and occupied two hills commanding the road on a 
parallel leading to Brown's Ferry. The other division 
passed down the railroad, and from there on to the Chatta- 
nooga road, below the fork. The rebels had intrenched 
themselves on the hill, and from their works had opened 
fire upon the Union command ; but this did not delay the 
advance of the re-enforcements, which pushed along under 
fire through an open space or field to the right of the front 
of the hills. 

" While this command was pressing forward, a second 
division was moved up on the road, and a courier sent to 
inform General Geary of the near approach of assistance. 

" An order was now given to take the hill, and the second 
division was assigned to the task. The advance was com- 
menced; and the enemy poured down a heavy fire of mus- 
ketry. Slowly the men went up the hill, the ascent of which 
was so steep that it was as much as a man could do to get to 
the toj) in peacefid times, and with the help of daylight. 


This hill was covered with briar bushes, fallen trees and 
tangling masses of various descriptions, but our boys pressed 
forward in spite of all obstructions. The whole division at 
last gave a sudden start forward and gained the crest of the 
hill. The enemy's line wavered and broke, and the rebels 
composing it went down the other side of the hill with 
broken, flying, and disordered ranks. On gaining the crest, 
our men found that they had not only driven the enemy off, 
but had taken some tolerably well-constructed earthworks, 
behind which the rebels had posted themselves. It was then 
ascertained, too, that the hill had been occupied by about two 
thousand rebels. The success and the gallantry with which 
the height was taken elicited general commendation to the 
skill and bravery of the troops and their commanding officers. 

" Soon after this, a detachment from another division took 
the next hill to the right without much resistance. 

"The enemy continued a scattering fire for some time 
after the hills were taken, but finally ceased troubling us. 

"In the meantime General Geary had bravely resisted the 
rebel attack ; and, after two hours' hard fighting, the enemy 
retreated, without making Geary's line to waver or fall back 
afoot. Almost every horse in one section of artillery was 
shot dead. The enemy retired across the railroad, and from 
there to the other side of the creek." 

The army at Chattanooga were thus relieved 
of the danger of starvation ; and General Grant 
began to make preparations to attack the enemy 
in his front. 

Longstrect's forces were now r before the city 
of Knoxville. "Just where we want them I" said 
Grant, 'when apprised of his attempts to flank the 
Union position several miles to the eastward of 


An examination of the enemy's line showed 
clearly the danger to which the rebels had exposed 
themselves. A large portion of their army they 
had allowed to go into East Tennessee, and the 
remainder of their forces they had extended into 
lines almost as thin as a spider's thread. Upon 
Mission Ridge, the outer line of defences was 
nearly seven miles in extent, while the inner line 
of rifle pits running through the valleys was not 
less than five miles long. Grant knew that the 
north end of this ridge was imperfectly guarded ; 
and that the left bank of the Tennessee, from the 
mouth of South Chickamauga Creek westward to 
the main rebel line in front of Chattanooga, was 
watched by a small cavalry picket, only. These 
facts determined his plan of operations. His main 
object being to mass all the forces possible against 
Mission Ridge, converging toward Chickamauga 
Station, — Bragg's depot of supplies, — Grant finally 
deemed it best to countermand Hooker's attack 
on Lookout Mountain, and brins: most of the 
troops intended for that operation to the other 
end of the line. 

To General Thomas, the instructions were given 
as follows : — 

"All preparations should be made for attacking the 
enemy's position on Missionary Ridge, by Saturday morn- 
ing, at daylight. . . . The general plan is, for Sherman, 
with the force brought with him, strengthened by a division 


from your command, to effect a, crossing of the Tennessee 
River, just below the mouth of the Chickamauga ; his* 
crossing to be pi-otected by artillery from the heights of the 
north bank of the river, and to secure the heights from 
the northern extremity to about the railroad tunnel, before the 
enemy can concentrate against him. You will co-operate 
with Sherman. The troops in Chattanooga Valley should 
all be concentrated on your left flank, leaving only the 
necessary force to defend fortifications on the right and 
centre, and a movable column of one division, in readiness 
to move wherever ordered. This division should show 
itself as threateningly as possible, on the most practicable 
line for making an attack up the valley. Your effort, then, 
will be to form a junction with Sherman, making your 
advance well toward the northern end of Missionary Ridge, 
and moving as near simultaneously with him as possible. 
The junction once formed, and the ridge carried, connection 
will be at once established between the two armies, by roads 
on the south bank of the river. Further movements will 
then depend on those of the enemy. 

"Lookout Valley, I think, will be easily held by Geary's 
division, and what troops you may still have there, of the 
old Army of the Cumberland. HoAvard's corps can then be 
held in readiness to act, either with you at Chattanooga, or 
with Sherman. It should be marched, on Friday night, to 
a position on the north side of the river, not lower down 
than the first pontoon bridge at Chattanooga; and then held 
in readiness for such orders as may become necessary. All 
these troops will be provided with two days' rations, in 
haversacks, and one hundred rounds of ammunition on the 
person of each infantry soldier. ..." 

To Sherman a copy of those instructions was 
forwarded for his guidance, and he was also in- 
formed, " It is particularly desirable that a force 


should be got through to the railroad between 
Cleveland and Dalton, and Longstreet thus cut 
off from communication with the south ; but, being 
confronted by a large force here, strongly located, 
it is not easy to tell how this is to be effected, 
until the result of our first effort is known." 

On the 23d of November, a little before noon, 
General Grant ordered a demonstration against 
Missionary Ridge, to develop the force holding it. 

General Meigs, who was present during the 
whole three days' battle, thus describes it : — 

"The troops marched out, formed in order, and advanced 
in line of battle, as if on parade. The rebels watched the 
formation and movement from their picket lines and rifle- 
pits, and from the summits of Missionary Ridge, five hun- 
dred feet above us, and thought it was a review and drill, 
so openly and deliberately, so regularly, was it all done. 

"The line advanced, preceded by skirmishers, and. at 
two o'clock P. M. reached our picket lines, and opened a 
rattling volley upon the rebel pickets, who replied, and ran 
into their advanced line of rifle-pits. After them went our 
skirmishers, and into them along the centre line of 25,000 
troops which General Thomas had so quickly displayed, 
until we opened fire. Prisoners assert that they thought the 
whole movement was a review and general drill, and that 
it was too late to send to their camps for re-enforcements, 
and that they Avere overwhelmed by force of numbers. It 
was a surprise in open daylight. 

"At three o'clock p. M. the important advanced position 
of Orchard Knob and the lines right and left were in our 
possession, and arrangements were ordered for holding them 
during the ni«;ht. 


" The next day, at daylight, General Sherman had five 
thousand men across the Tennessee, and established on its 
south bank, and commenced the construction of a pontoon 
bridge about six miles above Chattanooga. The rebel 
steamer Dunbar was repaired at the right moment, and 
rendered effective aid in this crossing, carrying over six 
thousand men. 

" By nightfall, General Sherman had seized the extremity 
of Missionary Ridge nearest the river, and was intrenching 
himself. General Howard, with a brigade, opened commu- 
nication with him from Chattanooga on the south side of the 
river. Skirmishing and cannonading continued all day on 
the left and centre. General Hooker scaled the slopes of 
Lookout Mountain, and from the valley of Lookout Creek 
drove the rebels around the point. He captured some two 
thousand prisoners, and established himself high up the 
mountain side, in full view of Chattanooga. This raised the 
blockade, and now steamers Avere ordered from Bridgeport 
to Chattanooga. They had run only to Kelley's Ferry, 
whence ten miles of hauling over mountain roads and twice 
across the Tennessee on pontoon bridges brought us our 

" All night the point of Missionary Ridge on the extreme 
right blazed with the camp-fires of loyal troops. 

"The day had been one of dense mists and rains, and 
much of General Hooker's battle was fought above the 
clouds, which concealed him from our view, but from which 
his musketry was heard. 

"At nightfall the sky cleared, and the full moon — 'the 
traitor's doom ' — shone upon the beautiful scene until 1 a.m., 
when twinkling sparks upon the mountain-side showed 
that picket skirmishing was going on. Then it ceased. A 
brigade sent from Chattanooga crossed the Chattanooga 
Creek and opened communication with Hooker. 

" General Grant's headquarters during the afternoon of the 
23d and the day of the 24th were in Wood's Redoubt, except 


•when in the course of the day he rode along the advance 
line, visiting the headquarters of the several commanders in 
Chattanooga Valley. 

" At daylight on the 25th the stars and stripes were 
descried on the peak of Lookout. The rebels had evacuated 
the mountain. 

"Hooker moved to descend the mountain, striking Mis- 
sionary Ridge at the Rossville Gap, to sweep both sides 
and its summit. 

"The rebel troops were seen, as soon as it was light 
enough, streaming regiments and brigades along the narrow 
summit of Missionary Ridge, either concentrating on the 
right to overwhelm Sherman, or marching for the railroad 
to raise the siege. 

" They had evacuated the valley of Chattanooga. Would 
they abandon that of Chickamauga ? 

" The twenty-pounders and four and a quarter inch rifles 
of Wood's Redoubt opened on Missionary Ridge. Orchard 
Knob sent its compliments to the Ridge, and from Missionary 
Ridge to Orchard Knob, and from Wood's Redoubt, over the 
heads of Generals Grant and Thomas and their staffs, who 
were with us in this favorable position, from whence the 
whole battle could be seen as in an amphitheatre. The 
headquarters were under fire all day long. 

" Cannonading and musketry were heard from General 
Sherman, and General Howard marched the Eleventh 
Corps to join him. 

" General Thomas sent out skirmishers, who drove in the 
rebel pickets and chased them into their intrenchments, and 
at the foot of Missionaiy Ridge Sherman made an assault 
against Bragg's right, intrenched on a high knob next to 
that on which Sherman himself lay fortified. The assault 
was gallantly made. 

*' Sherman reached the edge of the crest, and held his 
ground for (it seemed to me) an hour, but was bloodily re- 
pulsed by reserves. 


" A general advance was ordered, and a strong line of 
skirmishers followed by a deployed line of battle some two 
miles in length. At the signal of leaden shots from head- 
quarters on Orchard Knob, the line moved rapidly and 
orderly forward. The rebel pickets discharged their mus- 
kets and ran into their rifle-pits. Our skirmishers followed 
on their heels. 

"The line of battle was not far behind; and we saw the 
gray rebels swarm out of the ledge line of rifle-pits and over 
the base of the hill in numbers which surprised us. A few 
turned and fired their pieces ; but the greater number col- 
lected into the many roads which cross obliquely up its 
steep face, and went on to the top. 

" Some regiments pressed on, and swarmed up the steep 
sides of the ridge ; and here and there a color was advanced 
beyond the lines. The attempt appeared most dangerous; 
bat the advance was supported, and the whole line was 
ordered to storm the heights, upon which not less than forty 
pieces of artillery, and no one knew how many muskets, 
stood ready to slaughter the assailants. With cheers an- 
swering to cheers the men swarmed upward. They gath- 
ered to the points least difficult of ascent, and the line 
was broken. Color after color was planted on the sum- 
mit, while musket and cannon vomited their thunder upon 

"A well-directed shot from Orchard Knob exploded a 
rebel caisson on the summit, and the gun was seen speedily 
taken to the right, its driver lashing his horses. A party of 
our soldiers intercepted them ; and the gun was captured 
with cheers. 

" A fierce musketry broke out to the left, where, between 
Thomas and Sherman, a mile or two of the ridge was still 
occupied by the rebels. 

" Bragg left the house in which he had held his head- 
quarters, and rode to the rear as our troops crowded the hill 
on either side of him. 


" General Grant proceeded to the summit, and then only 
did we know its height. 

" Some of the captured artillery was put into position. 
Artillerists were sent for to work the guns, and caissons were 
searched for ammunition. 

"The rebel log breastworks were torn to pieces and 
carried to the other side of the ridge, and used in forming 
barricades across. A strong line of infantry was formed in 
the rear of Baird's line, and engaged in a musketry contest 
with the rebels to the left, and a secure lodgment was soon 

" The other assault to the right of our centre gained the 
summit, and the rebels threw down their arms and fled. 
Hooker, coming into favorable position, swept the right of 
the ridge, and captured many prisoners. 

"Bragg's remaining troops left early in the night; and 
the battle of Chattanooga, after days of manoeuvring and 
fighting, was won. The strength of the rebellion in the 
centre is broken. Burnside is relieved from danger in East 
Tennessee. Kentucky and Tennessee are rescued. Georgia 
and Southeast are threatened in the rear, and another victory 
is added to the chapter of ' Unconditional Surrender Grant." 1 " 

This battle of Chattanooga was the grandest ever 
fought west of the Alleghanies. It covered an area 
of thirteen miles, and Grant had over sixty thou- 
sand men engaged. The rebel army numbered 
forty-five thousand men, but they had the advan- 
tage of position on every part of the field. As at 
Vicksburg it had been the strategy, at Chatta- 
nooga it was the manoeuvring in the presence of 
the enemy that secured the victory. No battle 
during the Civil War was carried out so com- 


pletely according to the programme. The instruc- 
tions of Grant in advance serve almost as a com- 
plete history of the engagement. 

The way was now thrown open to Atlanta ; and 
Chattanooga, the great bulwark of the would-be 
Confederacy, had become a sally-port for the 
national armies. 




ALTHOUGH Chattanooga was now secure, 
Burnside was still surrounded by the enemy, 
and the capture of Knoxville threatened. On the 
29th of November, the rebel general Longstreet 
made an assault upon Fort Sanders and other 
works around Knoxville. It was, however, un- 
successful, and on the 4th of December he raised 
the sieire and retreated eastward toward Virginia. 

When the good news reached Washington, Pres- 
ident Lincoln sent the following despatch to 
Grant : — 

' ' Understanding that your lodgment at Chatta- 
nooga and Knoxville is now secure, I wish to 
tender you, and all under your command, my more 
than thanks — my profoundest gratitude — for the 
skill, courage, and perseverance with which you 
and they, over so great difficulties, have effected 
that important object. God bless you all ! " 

General Grant at once had the despatch em- 
bodied in an order, so that it should be read to 
every regiment in his command, and congratulated 
them himself as follows : — 


"The general commanding takes this opportu- 
nity of returning his sincere thanks and congratu- 
lations to the brave armies of the Cumberland, the 
Ohio, the Tennessee, and their comrades from the 
Potomac, for the recent splendid and decisive suc- 
cesses achieved over the enemy. In a short time 
you have recovered from him the control of the Ten- 
nessee River from Bridgeport to Knoxville. You 
dislodged him from his great stronghold upon 
Lookout Mountain, drove him from Chattanooga 
Valley, wrested from his determined grasp the 
possession of Missionary Ridge, repelled with 
heavy loss to him his repeated assaults upon 
Knoxville, forcing him to raise the siege there, 
driving him at all points, utterly routed and dis- 
comfited, beyond the limits of the State. By 
your noble heroism and determined courage, you 
have most effectually defeated the plans of the 
enemy for regaining possession of the States of 
Kentucky and Tennessee. You have secured 
positions from which no rebellious power can drive 
or dislodge you. For all this the general com- 
manding thanks you collectively and individually. 
The loyal people of the United States thank and 
bless you. Their hopes and prayers for your suc- 
cess against this unholy rebellion are with you 
daily. Their faith in you will not be in vain. 
Their hopes will not be blasted. Their prayers to 
Almighty God will be answered. You will yet 


go to other fields of strife ; and with the invincible 
bravery and unflinching loyalty to justice and 
right which have characterized you in the past, 
you will prove that no enemy can withstand you, 
and that no defence, however formidable, can 
check your onward march." 

The active part that General Grant himself 
took at the battle of Chattanooga, may be gathered 
from the following words of Colonel Ely S. 
Parker : — 

"It has. been a matter of universal wonder in 
this army that General Grant himself was not killed, 
and that no more accidents occurred to his staff, for 
the general was always in the front (his staff with 
him, of course), and perfectly heedless of the storm 
of hissing bullets and screaming shell flying around 
him. His apparent want of sensibility does not 
arise from heedlessness, heartlessness, or vain 
military affectation, but from a sense of the respon- 
sibility resting upon him when in battle. When 
at Ringgold, we rode for half a mile in the face of 
the enemy, under an incessant fire of cannon and 
musketry, nor did we ride fast, but upon an ordi- 
nary trot, and not once do I believe did it enter 
the general's mind that he was in danger. I was 
by his side and watched him closely. In riding 
that distance we were going to the front, and I 
could see that he was studying the position of the 
two armies, and, of course, planning how to defeat 


the enemy, who was here making a most desperate 
stand, and was slaughtering our men fearfully. 
After defeating and driving the enemy here, we 
returned to Chattanooga. 

" Another feature in General Grant's personal 
movements is, that he requires no escort beyond 
his staff, so regardless of danger is he. Roads 
are almost useless to him, for he takes short cuts 
through fields and woods, and will swim his horse 
through almost any stream that obstructs his way. 
Nor does it make any difference to him whether 
he has daylight for his movements, for he will ride 
from breakfast until two o'clock in the morning, 
and that too without eating. The next day he 
will repeat the dose, until he finishes his work." 

On the 15th of January, Grant wrote to Hal- 
leck : — 

" Sherman has gone down the Mississippi to collect at 
Vicksburg all the force that can be spared for a separate 
movement from the Mississippi. He will probably have 
ready by the 24th of this month a force of twenty thousand 
men. ... I shall direct Sherman, therefore, to move out to 
Meridian, with his spare force, the cavalry going from Cor- 
inth, and destroy the roads east and south of there so effec- 
tually that the enemy will not attempt to rebuild them 
during the rebellion. lie will then return, unless opportu- 
nity of going into Mobile with the force he has appears pei - - 
fectly plain. Owing to the large number of veterans fur- 
loughed, I will not be able to do more at Chattanooga than 
to threaten an advance, and try to detain the force now in 
Thomas's front. Sherman will be instructed, whilst left 


with these large discretionary powers, to take no extra hazard 
of losing his army, or of getting it crippled too much for 
efficient service in the spring. ... I look upon the next 
line for me to secure to be that from Chattanooga to Mobile ; 
Montgomery and Atlanta being the important intermediate 
points. To do this, large supplies must be secured on the 
Tennessee River, so as to be independent of the railroad from 
Nashville to the Tennessee for a considerable length of time. 
Mobile would be a second base. The destruction which 
Sherman will do to the roads around Meridian will be of ma- 
terial importance tons in preventing the enemy from draw- 
ing supplies from Mississippi, and in clearing that section 
of all large bodies of rebel troops. ... I do not look upon 
any points, except Mobile in the south, and the Tennessee 
River in the north, as presenting practicable starting points, 
to be all under one command, from the fact that the time it 
will take to communicate from one to the other will be so 
great. But Sherman or McPherson, either one of whom 
could be intrusted with the distant command, are officers of 
such experience and reliability, that the objections on this 
score, except that of enabling the two armies to act as a 
unit, would be removed." 

Sherman left Vicksburg on the 3d of February ; 
he entered Meridian on the 14th, a railroad centre 
between Vicksburg and Montgomery, and for the 
next five days ten thousand men were employed in 
destroying the railroads that centred here. On the 
28th he returned to Vicksburg, bavins maintained 
his army during the time almost entirely from the 
enemy's country. He brought away four hundred 
prisoners, five thousand negroes, about a thousand 
white refugees, and three thousand animals. His 


loss was twenty-one killed, sixty-eight wounded, 
and eighty-one missing. Moreover, he had terri- 
fied the country. Never before had an army pen- 
etrated the enemy's country so far without a base. 
On the 3d of March, Grant received the follow- 
ing despatch : — 

"The Secretary of War directs that you report in person 
to the War Department as early as practicable, considering 
the condition of your command. If necessary, you will keep 
up telegraphic communication with your command while 
en route for Washington." 

Grant started next day for the East, directing 
Sherman before he left to use the negro troops as 
far as possible in guarding the Mississippi, and to 
assemble the remainder of his command at Mem- 
phis in order to have them in readiness to join his 
column in the spring campaign. 

At the session of Congress during the winter of 
1803-64, Mr. Washburne, the representative of 
Illinois from Galena, had introduced a bill to " re- 
vive the grade of lieutenant-general of the army." 
This grade, it will be remembered, was created in 
1798, for Washington, and in 1855 it was bestowed 
by brevet upon General Scott. 

In the debate brought up in the House in con- 
nection with this bill, Mr. Washburne said: — 

" I am not here to speak for General Grant. No 
man with his consent has ever mentioned his name 
in connection with any position. I say what I 


know to be true when I allege that every promo- 
tion he has received since he first entered the ser- 
vice to put down this rebellion, was moved without 
his knowledge or consent ; and in regard to this 
very matter of lieutenant-general, after the bill was 
introduced and his name mentioned in connection 
therewith, he wrote me, and admonished me that 
he had been highly honored already by the Gov- 
ernment, and did not ask or deserve anything more 
in the shape of honors or promotion ; and that a 
success over the enemy was what he craved above 
everything else ; that he only desired to hold such 
an influence over those under his command as to 
use them to the best advantage to secure that end. 
Such is the language of this patriotic and single- 
minded soldier, ambitious only of serving his 
country and doing his whole duty. Sir, whatever 
this House may do, the country will do justice to 
General Grant." 

The following letters that passed between Grant 
and Sherman at this time speak volumes. 

" The bill," writes Grant, " reviving the grade of 
lieutenant-general in the army has become a law, 
and my name has been sent to the Senate for the 
place. I now receive orders to report to Wash- 
ington immediately, in person, which indicates a 
confirmation, or a likelihood of confirmation. I 
start in the morning to comply with the order. 

" Whilst I have been eminently successful in this 


war, in at least gaining the confidence of the public, 
no one feels, more than I how much of this success 
is due to the energy, skill, and the harmonious 
putting forth of that energy and skill, of those 
whom it has been my good fortune to have 
occupying subordinate positions under me. There 
are many officers to whom these remarks are appli- 
cable to a greater or less degree, proportionate to 
their ability as soldiers ; but what I want is to ex- 
press my thanks to you and McPherson, as the 
men to whom, above all others, I feel indebted for 
whatever I have had of success. 

" How far your advice and assistance have been 
of help to me, you know. How far your execution 
of whatever has been given to you to do, entitles 
you to the reward I am receiving, you cannot 
know as well as I. 

"I feel all the gratitude this letter would ex- 
press, giving it the most flattering construction. 

"The word you I use in the plural, intending it 
for McPherson also. I should write to him, and 
will some day ; but, starting in the morning, I do 
not know that I will find time just now." 

To this letter Sherman immediately replied : — 

Dear General : I have your more than kind and 
characteristic letter of the 4th instant. I will send a copy 
to General McPherson at once. 

You do yourself injustice, and us too much honor, in as- 
signing to us too large a share of the merits which have led 


to your high advancement. I know you approve the friend- 
ship I have ever professed to you, and will permit me to 
continue, as heretofore, to manifest it on all proper occa- 

You are now Washington's legitimate successor, and 
occupy a position of almost dangerous elevation; but if you 
can continue, as heretofore, to be yourself, — simple, honest, 
and unpretending, — you will enjoy through life the respect 
and love of friends and the homage of millions of human 
beings that will award you a large share in securing to 
them and their descendants a government of law and sta- 

I repeat, you do General McPherson and myself too much 
honor. At Belmont you manifested your traits — neither 
of us being neai\ At Donelson, also, you illustrated your 
whole character. I was not near, and General McPherson 
in too subordinate a capacity to influence you. 

Until you had won Donelson, I confess I was almost 
cowed by the terrible array of anarchical elements that pre- 
sented themselves at every point ; but that admitted a ray of 
light I have followed since. I believe you are as brave, pa- 
triotic, and just as the great prototype Washington — as un- 
selfish, kind-hearted, and honest as a man should be ; but 
the chief characteristic is the simple faith in success you 
have always manifested, which I can liken to nothing else 
than the faith a Christian has in the Saviour. 

This faith gave you victory at Shiloh and Vicksburg. 
Also, when you have completed your best prepai'ations, you 
go into battle without hesitation, as at Chattanooga — no 
doubts, no reserves ; and I tell you it was this that made 
us art with confidence. I knew, wherever I was, that you 
thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would help 
me out, if alive. 

My only point of doubt was in your knowledge of grand 
strategy, and of books of science and history; but I confess 
your common sense seems to have supplied all these. 


Now, as to the future. Don't stay in Washington. Come 
West; take to yourself the whole Mississippi Valley. Let 
us make it dead sure — and I tell you the Atlantic slopes 
and Pacific shores will follow its destiny, as sure as the 
limbs of a tree live or die with the main trunk. We have 
done much, but still much remains. Time and time's in- 
fluences are with us. We could almost afford to sit still 
and let those influences work. 

Here lies the seat of the coming empire; and from the 
West, when our task is done, we will make short work of 
Charleston, and Richmond, and the impoverished coast of 
the Atlantic. 

Your sincere friend, 

W. T. Sherman. 

Grant made the journey to Washington as 
rapidly and quietly as possible, but wherever his 
presence was known the people gathered in eager 
crowds to welcome the " hero of Vicksburg." On 
reaching Washington, he was presented to Presi- 
dent Lincoln who had never seen him before. He 
was received with great cordiality, and attended 
that evening a reception at the White House, con- 
cerning which he afterwards remarked, " it was my 
warmest campaign during the whole war." 

On the next day, the 9th of March, 1864, he was 
received by the President in his Cabinet chamber, 
and presented formally with his commission as 
Lieutenant-General, in the following words : — 

General Grant, — The nation's appreciation of what you 
have done, and its reliance upon you for what still remains 
to be accomplished in the existing great struggle, are now pre- 


sented with this commission, constituting you lieutenant-gen- 
eral in the army of the United States. With this high honor 
devolves upon you, also, a corresponding responsibility. As 
the country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain 
you. I scarcely need to add that with what I here speak 
for the nation goes my own hearty personal concurrence. 

Grant, in reply, read the following : — 

Mr. President, — I accept the commission with gi-atitude 
for the high honor conferred. With the aid of the noble 
armies that have fought on so many fields for our common 
country, it will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint 
your expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsi- 
bilities now devolving on me, and I know that if they are 
met, it will be due to those armies, and above all, to the 
favor of that Providence which leads both nations and men." 

On the following day, Grant, in company with 
General Meade, the commander of the Army of 
the Potomac, made a visit to that army, and then 
started at once for the West. 





TT7~E had in the Union army at this time about 
* * eight hundred thousand men. The Missis- 
sippi River was now opened from its source to its 
mouth, and garrisons of negro troops were sta- 
tioned at various points. General Banks had his 
headquarters at New Orleans, with a portion of 
his force in Texas. The department of Missouri 
was under General Rosecrans, and the army in 
Arkansas was under the command of General 
Steele. Sherman was preparing for his March 
to the Sea. Thomas was in command of the 
Army of the Cumberland, Mc Pherson of the 
Army of the Tennessee, and Schofield was at 
Knoxville. In Virginia, the Army of the Potomac 
was under the command of General Meade, and 
along the coast the navy was maintaining an 
almost complete blockade. West of the Missis- 
sippi, and in front of Chattanooga, lay an army of 
Confederates under the command of Johnston, 
numbering about eighty thousand ; while in Vir- 


ginia Lee held command of an army which was 
estimated at over a hundred thousand. We had 
the outside of the circle — the rebels had the ad- 
vantage of the inside, and the main question of the 
war now was the overthrow of the military power 
of the Confederacy, or, in other words, the over- 
throw of Lee and Johnston. 

On the 23d of March, Grant returned to Wash- 
ington and reorganized the Army of the Potomac ; 
the corps were consolidated and reduced to three — 
the Second, Fifth and Sixth. Hancock had com- 
mand of the Second, Warren the Fifth, and Sedg- 
wick the Sixth, while Meade had still the control 
of all three. To Sheridan was given the command 
of the cavalry. The army was re-enforced by the 
Ninth Corps, under Burnside, from East Ten- 
nessee, so that the entire Army of the Potomac 
now numbered about one hundred and forty thou- 
sand men. 

"Commanding all the armies as I did," said 
Grant, "I tried, as far as possible, to leave General 
Meade in independent command of the Army of 
the Potomac. My instructions for that army 
were all through him, and were general in their 
nature, leaving all the details and execution to 
him. The campaigns that followed proved him to 
be the right man in the right place. His com- 
manding always in the presence of an officer 
superior to him in rank, has drawn from him 


much of that public attention which his zeal and 
ability entitled him to, and which he would other- 
wise have received." 

Just before the opening of the spring campaign, 
Grant received the following letter from President 
Lincoln : — 

" Not expecting to see you before the spring campaign 
opens, I wish to express, in this way, my entire satisfaction 
with what you have done up to this time, so far as I under- 
stand it. The particulars of your plans I neither know nor 
seek to know. 

"You are vigilant and self-reliant; and, pleased with 
this, I wish not to obtrude any restraints or constraints 
upon you. While I am very anxious that any great disas- 
ter or capture of our men in great numbers shall be avoided, 
I know that these points are less likely to escape your 
attention than they would be mine. If there be anything 
wanting which is within my power to give, do not fail to 
let me know it. And now, with a brave army and a just 
cause, may God sustain you." 

To this General Grant replied : — 

"Your very kind letter of yesterday is just received. 
The confidence you express for the future, and satisfaction 
for the past, in my military administration, is acknowledged 
with pride. It shall be my earnest endeavor that you and 
the country shall not be disappointed. From my first 
entrance into the voluntary service of the country to the pres- 
ent day, I have never had cause, have never expressed or im- 
plied a complaint against the administration or the Secretary 
of War, for throwing any embarrassment in the way of my 
vigorously prosecuting what appeared to be my duty. In- 
deed, since the promotion which placed me in command of 


all the armies, and in view of the great responsibility and 
importance of success, I have been astonished at the readi- 
ness with which everything asked for has been yielded, 
without even an explanation being asked. 

"Should my success be less than I desire and expect, the 
least I can say is, the fault is not with you. 1 ' 

The Army of the Potomac occupied at this time 
a position along the north bank of the Rapidan, 
while Lee's army was upon the southern bank of 
the river — its left flank covered by the river, its 
right by intrenchments, and its front strongly pro- 
tected by field works. 

The question now arose as to which was the 
best route to take in the advance upon Richmond. 
There was the overland route over the peninsula, 
and the other, south of the James, that had been 
repeatedly tried, but thus far without success. 
The distance to Richmond from either the Rappa- 
hannock or the Rapidan, is between sixty and 
seventy miles, through an intervening country of 
peculiar difficulties. Its great advantage, however, 
was that by this route the attacking army, while 
pressing towards Richmond, still served as a pro- 
tection to Washington. If the approach should 
be made down the coast from the south of the 
James, although the difficulties of passing through 
a hostile country were removed, Washington 
would be left unprotected. The only remaining 
way seemed to be to have two armies in the field, 


— one to take the route over the peninsula, and 
thus protect Washington, and the other to pro- 
ceed south of the James. 

At one time, Grant favored the route from below 
the James. On taking command of the Army of 
the Potomac, however, he thought best to abandon 
this plan, and, while the main army followed the 
overland route, to send an independent force to 
operate south of the James. This force was under 
the command of General Butler, who, with about 
thirty thousand men, was to start from Fortress 
Monroe, go up the James River, and, intrenching 
himself near City Point, operate against Richmond 
from the south ; or, coming down from the north, 
join the main Army of the Potomac. Richmond 
was also to be threatened by two other forces, — one 
from the west, under General Cook, and another 
from the Shenandoah Valley, under General Siegel. 

On the 3d of May, the army moved at midnight 
and crossed the Rapidan in two columns. War- 
ren's and Sedgwick's corps crossed at the Ger- 
mania Ford, and Hancock's some six miles below, 
at Ely's Ford. " This crossing of the Rapidan," says 
Grant in his report, "I regarded as a great suc- 
cess, and it removed from my mind the most se- 
rious apprehensions I had entertained — that of 
crossing the river in the nice of an active, large, 
well-appointed army, and how so large a train was 
to be carried through a hostile country and pro- 


South and west from the Rapidan is an extent of 
country known as the Wilderness. It is a mining 
district, and, the forests having been cut away, it 
was at that time covered with a dense undergrowth 
of scrub oaks and stunted pines — a most difficult 
spot for any kind of military operations. 

When Grant and Meade reached the Old Wil- 
derness Tavern, on the morning of the 5th, they 
found Warren's corps already there, and Sedg- 
wick's corps close hy. Information was also re- 
ceived that the enemy was contemplating an assault 
upon them by the turnpike. A severe battle im- 
mediately ensued, which resembled Indian warfare 
more than anything else, being fought, as it was, 
in narrow roads and through the dense underbrush. 
When night came, neither side had gained any de- 
cided advantage, and on the next morning the con- 
test was renewed. The Union line extended about 
five miles, facing westward, with Sedarwick on the 
right, next Warren, and Burnside and Hancock 
on the left. The Confederate army held the same 
ground as the day before, Hill on the right, cover- 
ing the plank road, and Ewell on the left, covering 
the turnpike, while Longstreet's corps added a fresh 
re-enforcement. Another day of terrible fighting 
ensued, without deciding the victory. Says the 
historian of the Army of the Potomac : — 

" The battle of the Wilderness is scarcely to be judged as 
an ordinary battle. It will happen in the course, as in the 

178 LIFE OF GEN. 17. S. GEANT. 

beginning of every war, that there occur actions in which 
ulterior purposes and the combinations of a military pro- 
gramme play very little part, but which are simply trials of 
strength. The battle of the Wilderness was such a mortal 
combat — a combat in which the adversaries aimed each, 
respectively, at a result that should be decisive — Lee to 
crush the campaign in its inception, by driving the Army of 
the Potomac across the Rapidan ; Grant to destroy Lee. 

"Out of this fierce determination came a close and deadly 
grapple of the two armies — a battle terrible and in- 
describable in those gloomy woods. There is something 
horrible, yet fascinating, in the mystery shrouding this 
strangest of battles ever fought — a battle which no man 
could see, and whose progress could only be followed by the 
ear, as the sharp and crackling volleys of musketry, and the 
alternate Union cheer and Confederate yell, told how the 
fight surged and swelled. The battle continued two days ; 
yet such was the mettle of each combatant, that it decided 
nothing. It was in every respect a drawn battle; audits 
only result appeared in the tens of thousands of dead and 
Avounded in blue and gray that lay in the thick woods. The 
Union loss exceeded fifteen thousand, and the Confederate 
loss was about eight thousand." 

On Saturday, the 7th of May, Grant determined 
to move from the Wilderness and station himself 
at Spottsylvania Court House, some fifteen miles 
southeast. The march was to begin at night, but 
the Confederates, hearing the noise, started under 
Longstreet for the same spot. 

The two armies met, early on the next morning, 
and that day and the next were spent in getting 
into position. On the 10th an attack upon the 
enemy was ordered along the line, to carry his in- 


trenchments, but it was unsuccessful. The next 
day was spent in preparations for the assault, by 
Hancock's division, upon the enemy's right centre. 
At early dawn it took place, and a point was gained 
in the first line of intrenchments which was held that 
day in spite of the deadly contest that followed. 
Sometimes the rival standards were placed on op- 
posite sides of the breastworks, and a tree eighteen 
inches in diameter was actually cut in halves by the 
flying bullets. 

Grant sent his first despatch to Washington, since 
the advance, on the 11th. It read as follows : — 

" We have now ended the sixth day of very heavy fight- 

" The result to this time is very much in our favor. 

"Our losses have been heavy, as well as those of the 
enemy. I think the loss of the enemy must be greater. 

" We have taken over five thousand prisoners by battle, 
while he has taken from us but few, except stragglers. 

"I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all sum- 

On the next daj 7 , he adds : — 

"The eighth day of battle closes, leaving between 
three and four thousand prisoners in our hands for the day's 
work, including two general officers, and over thirty pieces 
of artillery. 

"The enemy is obstinate, and seems to have found the 
last ditch. We have lost no organization, not even a com- 
pany, while we have destroyed and captured one division, 
one brigade, and one regiment entire of the enemy." 


Lee had now retired to his inner line of works, 
and the next week was spent in trying to find some 
spot in which his lines could be pierced. One of 
the minor episodes of the fearful struggle at Spott- 
sylvania, and one which throws much light on the 
military character of Grant, as well as it reveals the 
working of his mind under such tremendous pres- 
sure, was his action, on the dismal morning of the 
12th of May, when Burnside reported that he had 
lost connection with Hancock : — 

" Push the enemy," was Grant's response ; 
" that's the best way to connect." 

The design of having the co-operating armies aid 
the Army of the Potomac by distracting the atten- 
tion, cutting the communications, and preventing 
re-enforcements from reaching the army covering 
Richmond, had been unsuccessful. It also seemed 
an impossibility to carry the enemy's position at 
Spottsylvania ; so Grant determined to flank the 
position, and, by a similar movement to that per- 
formed in the Wilderness, to place the Union army 
between Richmond and Lee's army. On the night 
of the 20th the move was made, and not more than 
a half hour later Lee set his troops in motion. 
Having the advantage of moving on the chord of 
the arc, while Grant was obliged to use the arc 
itself, Lee had reached and posted himself upon the 
south bank of the South Anna River when our 
forces came up to the opposite bank. This position 


was one of especial importance to him, since it 
covered the Virginia Central Railroad, by which he 
was receiving re-enforcements from the Shenan- 
doah Valley. 

" Finding," says Grant, " the enemy's position 
stronger than any of his previous ones, I withdrew 
on the night of the 26th, to the north bank of the 
North Anna." On the 23d Sheridan and his cavalry 
expedition had reached White House, and two 
days later rejoined the Army of the Potomac. 
That same night he was sent down the Pamunkey 
(a river formed by the union of the North and 
South Anna), and by noon on the 27th had seized 
the ferry crossing at Hanovertown, fifteen miles 
from Richmond, and thrown a pontoon bridge 

On Sunday, the 29th, the Union army was across 
the river and three miles beyond it. The next day 
the advance was continued, with Hancock in the 
centre, Warren on the left, and Wright on the 
right. Early in the afternoon, our cavalry pickets 
on the left, which were advancing on the Cold 
Harbor road, were driven in, and Warren was 
attacked in force about five. 

An attack was at once ordered along the line, 
but the main position of the enemy was too strong 
to be carried. In order to cover the Chickahom- 
iny, and prevent our advance upon Richmond, 
Lee had taken up a position parallel to our front 


and extending on his left from Hanover Court- 
House to Bottom's Bridge, on his right. As it 
was very evident that to attempt to force a pas- 
sage directly in front would be attended with 
severe loss of life, Grant determined to attempt a 
passage by his left, at Cold Harbor. This spot, 
the point of convergence for the roads leading 
both to Richmond and to White House — our base 
of supplies — was as important for us to secure, 
as it was necessary for the enemy to defend. 
The result of the contest here was quite severe, 
costing us the loss of some two thousand men, but 
the place was finally secured by Sheridan and his 
force of cavalry, aided by the Sixth Corps. 

As Butler's force had proved useless at Ber- 
muda Hundred, Grant had ordered him to send 
all the troops he could spare to join the Army of 
the Potomac. Accordingly, on the 29th of May, 
a column of sixteen thousand men embarked on 
transports, and, passing down the James, ascended 
the York and the Pamunkev Rivers. By the 1st 
of June these troops had reached Cold Harbor 
and taken their position on the right of the Sixth 
Corps. The Union line now extended about six 
miles, Hancock occupying the left, Warren and 
Burnside the right, while the Sixth Corps and 
Smith's command held the centre. 

At half-past four in the morning the assault was 
made, and the disastrous battle of Cold Harbor 


ensued, in which we suffered much more than the 
enemy, losing about seven thousand five hundred 

Again Grant determined to flank the position, 
and, by passing round Lee's right wing, lay siege 
to the southern defences of Richmond. Gradually 
withdrawing the right, and extending his left flank, 
the Union army was brought within easy distance 
of the lower crossings of the Chickahominy . War- 
ren's Corps, preceded by a division of cavalry, took 
the lead, and by crossing the Chickahominy at Long 
Bridge, threatened an advance on Richmond, and 
covered the movement of the army. 

The distance across the peninsula, which was 
here about fifty-five miles, was marched by the 
army in two days. 

During this movement, Smith's command had 
returned to Bermuda Hundred, and upon their 
landing, the troops were sent by Butler to take 
Petersburg. This city is situated on the south 
bank of the Appomattox, about twenty-two miles 
from Richmond. It is the third city of Virginia, 
and as an outpost of Richmond was at this time of 
great strategic value, and strongly fortified by 
the enemy. 




A FTER several ineffectual attempts to take 
-*--*- possession of Petersburg, a spot in front of 
General Burnside's lines, where a hollow occurred, 
just behind a deep cut in the City Point Railroad, 
Avas selected for a mine. The work was begun on 
the 25th of June, and was completed in about a 
month. It extended five hundred and ten feet, 
ending under the parapet of one of the enemy's 
redoubts, and if a crest just behind it could be 
carried, Petersburg might be secured. The plan 
was to explode the mine early on the morning of 
July 30th, and then, through the breach thus 
made, to begin the assault. The idea of the mine 
originated with Lieutenant-colonel Pleasant, of 
the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, a prac- 
tical miner ; but it proved a failure, as after the ex- 
plosion the crater became a horrible charnel-house, 
into which the enemy hurled every kind of deadly 
missile. To advance was impossible; to remain, 
certain death, and to retreat was no less danger- 
ous. Over four thousand men were killed or 
captured in this " miserable affair," as Grant 
termed it. 


The failure was probably owing to the fact that 
the charge was led by white instead of black 
troops, and that the assaulting column was directed 
to push at once for the crest of Cemetery Hill, in- 
stead of first clearing the enemy's lines to the right 
and left of the mine. 

Early in July, as soon as he had heard that the 
enemy intended to threaten the Capital, Grant 
sent troops from the Army of the Potomac to pro- 
tect "Washington. One of the main objects of the 
Confederates had been to force Grant to transfer 
his army from the James to the defence of Wash- 
ington, but to do this would have been to give up 
all that had been gained by the previous campaign. 
A man with less firmness and persistence might 
have yielded, but Grant, taking a comprehensive 
military view of the whole situation, knew' that it 
was of the utmost importance to keep his army 
just where it was, and this one thing he was de- 
termined to do. 

It was necessary, however, to prevent the 
enemy from proceeding farther, and on the 4th of 
August Grant sent for Sheridan to come up to 
Harper's Ferry and take command of the Middle 
Military Division, in which were united the de- 
partments of Western Virginia, Washington and 
the Susquehanna, and two cavalry divisions from 
the Army of the Potomac. 

On the 19th Sheridan advanced, met the enemy 


at Winchester, and drove them through the town. 
The Confederate General, Early, retreated to 
Fisher's Hill, some thirty miles south of Winches- 
ter ; but Sheridan, still pushing, drove him back 
to the passes of the Blue Ridge, and pushed his 
pursuit as far as Staunton, where he destroyed 
the Virginia Central Railroad, and laid the country 
waste on every side. 

The next month while Sheridan still occupied a 
position on the north bank of Cedar Creek, Early, 
having received re-enforcements from Lee's army, 
moved forward on the night of the 18th of October 
to surprise the Union force. Under the cover of a 
fog they crossed the north fork of the Shenandoah 
and attacked our forces while Sheridan was absent 
at Winchester. A severe disaster was threatened, 
but the Sixth Corps stood firm and protected the 
retreat, until Sheridan himself, hearing the guns at 
Winchester, rode down at posthaste, and, infusing 
new spirit into his men, led them back and com- 
pletely routed the enemy. This finished the war 
in the Shenandoah Valley, so that most of Sheri- 
dan's troops returned to the Army of the Poto- 
mac ; and Early's scattered forces to the main 
Confederate army under Lee. 

During the summer and autumn months of 18G4, 
the Army of the Potomac had remained in its posi- 
tion before Petersburg, but constant attempts had 
been made either to cut the enemy's lines of com- 


munication, or else, by diversions upon the north 
side of the James, to threaten Kichmond directly. 
The position of affairs at the opening of the spring 
campaign was as follows : Sherman had arrived at 
Goldsboro, and Johnston's army, which opposed 
him, being made up of various small detach- 
ments, was unable to resist his further advance. 
Thomas had sent out one cavalry expedition into 
northern Alabama, and another into eastern Ten- 
nessee, while Pope was taking care of the west of 
the Mississippi. Hancock was in the valley of 
the Shenandoah, at Winchester, and ready to co- 
operate with Grant's army in a march against 

The chief difficulty now was to prevent Lee 
from forming a junction with Johnston's army, and, 
thus re-enforced, to prolong the war by retreating 
to the mountainous portions of West Virginia and 
East Tennessee. 

On the 24th, General Grant issued the following 
order : — 

" On the 29th instant the armies operating against Rich- 
mond will be moved by our left, for the double purpose of 
turning the enemy out of his present position around Peters- 
burg, and to insure the success of the cavalry under General 
Sheridan, which will start at the same time, in its efforts to 
reach and destroy the Southside and Danville railroads. 
Two corps of the Army of the Potomac will be moved, at 
first, in two columns, taking the two roads crossing 
Hatcher's Run nearest where the present line held by us 


strikes that stream, both moving towards Dinwiddie Court- 

" The cavalry under General Sheridan, joined by the di- 
vision now under General Davies, will move at the same 
time, by the Weldon road and the Jerusalem plank road, 
turning west from the latter before crossing the Nottoway, 
and west with the whole column reaching Stony Creek. 
General Sheridan will then move independently under other 
instructions which will be given him. All dismounted 
cavalry belonging to the Army of the Potomac, and the dis- 
mounted cavalry from the Middle Military Division not re- 
quired for guarding property belonging to their arm of ser- 
vice, will report to Brigadier-general Benhag, to be added 
to the defences of City Point. Major-General Parke will be 
left in command of all the army left for holding the lines 
about Petersburg and City Point, subject, of course, to or- 
ders from the commander of the Army of the Potomac. The 
Ninth Army Corps Avill be left intact to hold the present line 
of works so long as the whole line now occupied by us is 
held. If, however, the troops to the left of the Ninth corps 
are withdrawn, then the left of the corps may be thrown 
back so as to occupy the position held by the army prior to 
the capture of the Weldon road. All troops to the left of the 
Ninth corps will be held in readiness to move at the shortest 
notice by such route as may be designated when the order 
is given. 

" General Ord will detach three divisions, two white and 
one colored, or so much of them as he can, and hold his 
present lines, and march for the present left of the Army of 
the Potomac. In the absence of further orders, or until 
further orders are given, the white divisions will follow the 
left column of the Army of the Potomac, and the colored 
division the right column. During the movement Major- 
General Weitzel will be left in command of all the forces 
remaining behind from the Army of the James. 

"The movement of the troops from the Army of the 


James will commence on the night of the 27th instant. 
General Orel will leave behind the minimum number of 
cavalry necessary for picket duty in the absence of the main 
army. A cavalry expedition from General Orel's command 
will also be started from Suffolk, to leave thereon Saturday, 
the 1st of April, under Colonel Sumner, for the purpose of 
cutting the railroad about Hicksford. This, if accomplished, 
will have to be a surprise, and, therefore, from three to five 
hundred men will be sufficient. They should, however, be 
supported by all the infantry that can be spared from Nor- 
folk and Portsmouth, as far out as to where the cavalry 
crosses the Blackwater. The crossing should probably be 
at Uniten. Should Colonel Sumner succeed in reaching the 
Weldon road, he will be instructed to do all the damage 
possible to the triangle of roads between Hicksford, Wel- 
don, and Gaston. The railroad bridge at Weldon being 
fitted up for the passage of carriages, it might be practicable 
to destroy any accumulation of supplies the enemy may have 
collected south of the Roanoke. All the troops will move 
with four days' rations in haversacks, and eight days' in 
wagons. To avoid as much hauling as possible, and to give 
the Army of the James the same number of days' supplies 
with the Army of the Potomac, General Ord will direct his 
commissary and quartermaster to have sufficient supplies 
delivered at the terminus of the road to fill up in passing. 
Sixty rounds of ammunition per man will be taken in 
wagons, and as much grain as the transportation on hand 
will carry, after taking the specified amount of other sup- 
plies. The densely wooded country in which the army has 
to operate, making the use of much artillery impracticable, 
the amount taken with the army will be reduced to six or 
eight guns to each division, at the option of the army com- 

"All necessary preparations for earring these directions 
into operation may be commenced at once. The reserves of 
the Ninth corps should be massed as much as possible. 


"Whilst I would not now order an unconditional attack on the 
enemy's lines by them, they should be ready and should 
make the attack, if the enemy weakens his line in their 
front, without waiting for orders. In case they carry the 
line, then the whole of the Ninth corps could follow up so as 
to join or co-operate with the balance of the army. To pre- 
pare for this, the Ninth corps will have rations issued to 
them the same as the balance of the army. General Weitzel 
will keep vigilant watch upon his front, and if found at all 
practical to break through at any point, he will do so. A 
success north of the James should be followed up with great 
promptness. An attack will not be feasible unless it is 
found that the enemy has detached largely. In that case, 
it may be regarded as evident that the enemy are relying 
upon their local reserves principally for the defence of Rich- 
mond. Preparations may be made for abandoning all the 
line north of the James, except enclosed works ; only to be 
abandoned, however, after a break is made in the lines of 
the enemy. 

" By these instructions, a large part of the armies opera- 
ting against Richmond is left behind. The enemy, knowing 
this, may, as an only chance, strip their lines to the merest 
skeleton, in the hope of advantage not being taken of it, 
whilst they hurl everything against the moving column, and 
return. It cannot be impressed too strongly upon com- 
manders of troops left in the trenches not to allow this to 
occur without taking advantage of it. The very fact of the 
enemy coming out to attack, if he does so, might be regarded 
as conclusive evidence of such a weakening of his lines. I 
would have it particularly enjoined upon corps commanders, 
that in case of an attack from the enemy, those not attacked 
are not to wait for orders from the commanding officer of 
the army to which they belong, but that they will move 
promptly, and notify the commander of their action. I wish, 
also, to enjoin the same action on the part of division com- 
manders, when other parts of their corps are engaged. In 


like manner, I would urge the importance of following up a 
repulse of the enemy." 

Lee had resolved to make an attack upon the 
rio-ht flank of the Union army to force the weaken- 
ing of the left flank to support the right, and 
thus open a road for his retreat to the south bank 
of the Appomattox. On the morning of the 25th 
of March, a column of his troops assaulted Fort 
Stedman, and took as prisoners the majority of 
the garrison. Having possession of the fort, they 
immediately turned the guns upon other adjacent 
points of the Union line, and three batteries were 
one after another abandoned. The success of the 
rebels' plan, however, was short-lived, for the as- 
saulting column was not sfficiently supported, 
and, holding the fort isolated from the main army, 
they were caged and forced to surrender. 

On the 28th, Grant gave the following instruc- 
tions to Sheridan : — 

" Move your cavalry at as early an hour as you can, and 
without being confined to any particular road or roads. 
You may go out by the nearest roads in rear of the Fifth 
Corps, pass by its left, and, passing near to or through Din- 
widdie, reach the right and rear of the enemy as soon as 
you can. It is not the intention to attack the enemy in his 
intrenched position, but to force him out if possible. 
Should he come out and attack us, or get himself where he 
can be attacked, move in with your entire force in your 
own way, and with the full reliance that the army will 
eno-ao-e or follow as circumstances will dictate. I shall be 


on the field and will probably be able to communicate with 
you. Should I not do so, and you find that the enemy keeps 
within his main intrenched line, you may cut loose and 
push for the Danville road. If you find it practicable, I 
would like you to cross the Southside road, between Peters- 
burg and Burkesville, and destroy it to some extent. I 
would not advise much detention, however, until you reach 
the Danville road, which I would like you to strike as near 
to the Appomattox as possible Make your destruction on 
that road as complete as possible. You can then pass on to 
the Southside road, west of Burkesville, and destroy that in 
like manner. 

" After having accomplished the destruction of the two 
railroads, which are now the only avenues of supply to Lee's 
army, you may return to this army, selecting your road 
farther south ; or you may go on into North Carolina, and 
join General Sherman. Should you select the latter course, 
get the information to me as early as possible, so that I 
may send orders to meet you at Goldsboro." 

On the afternoon of the 29th, Sheridan, with his 
force of about nine thousand men, was at Dinwid- 
die Court-House, thus forming the extreme left of 
the Union line. Grant, who was now with the ad- 
vance at Gravelly Run, wrote him from there : — 

" Our line is now unbroken from the Appomattox to 
Dinwiddie. We are all ready, however, to give up all from 
the Jerusalem plank road to Hatcher's Run, whenever the 
forces can be used advantageously. After getting into line 
south of Hatcher's, we pushed forward to find the enemy's 
position. General Griffin was attacked near where the 
Quaker road intersects the Boydton road, but repulsed it 
easily, capturing about one hundred men. Humphreys 
reached Dabney's Mill, and was pushing on when last heard 


"I now feel like ending the matter, if it is possible to do 
so, before going back. I do not want yon, therefore, to 
cut loose and go after the enemy's roads at present. In 
the morning, push round the enemy if you can, and get on 
to his right rear. The movement of the enemy's cavalry 
may, of course, modify your action. We will all act to- 
gether as one army here, until it is seen what can be done 
with the enemy." 

On the morning of the 30th a severe rain-storm, 
which had begun the night before, and contin- 
ued steadily all that day, prevented any active 
operations, on account of the condition of the 
roads. Warren's corps advanced a little to the 
left, on the following day, and touched the ex- 
treme right of the Confederate position on the 
White Oak road. Lee immediately took the in- 
itiative step, and made an attack upon Warren. 
At first it promised success to the Confederate 
arms, but the Union Corps soon rallied from the 
sudden assault, and forced the enemy back to their 
old line on the White Oak road. 

On the 1st of April, Sheridan advanced against 
Five Forks, which position had been wrested from 
him by Lee ; and here, after a brilliant engage- 
ment, he finally succeeded in entirely routing the 
enemy and capturing over live thousand prisoners, 
besides numerous guns and standards. This vic- 
tory broke the line of defence against the advance 
of the Army of the Potomac, and the enemy, flee- 
ing west, was hotly pursued by the cavalry. The 


guns along the entire line were now opened upon 
the enemy's defences, and the bombardment was 
kept up all night. 

Lee now made a last and desperate stand in the 
chain of works immediately about Petersburg, so 
that he might prepare to evacuate the town as 
soon as possible. Grant, expecting this retreat, 
took measures to prevent it, but that night the 
Confederate army quietly withdrew through the 
town, over to the north bank of the Appomattox. 
Turning from there to Chesterfield Court-House, 
it received re-enforcements from Bermuda Hundred 
and Richmond, and then started westward. 

April 3, at eleven o'clock in the morning, Gen- 
eral Weitzel telegraphed as follows : — 

""We took Richmond at 8:15 this morning. I captured 
many guns. The enemy left in great haste. 

" The city is on fire in one place. We are making every 
effort to put it out. 

"The people received us with enthusiastic expressions 

of joy. 

"General Grant started early this morning, with the 
army, towards the Danville road, to cut off Lee's retreating 
army, if possihle. 

"President Lincoln has gone to the front." 




"TTTHILE the whole country was filled with re- 
* * joicing and celebration of the victory, Grant 
lost no time in organizing a vigorous pursuit of the 
retreating army. On the 4th he telegraphed to 
Washington : — 

"The array is pushing forward in the hope of overtaking 
or dispei-sing the remainder of Lee's army. 

" Sheridan, with his cavalry and the Fifth Corps, is be- 
tween this (Wilson's Station) and the Appomattox, General 
Meade, with the Second and Sixth, following; General Ord 
following the line of the Southside Railroad. All of the 
enemy that retain anything like organization have gone 
north of the Appomattox, and are apparently heading for 
Lynchburg, their losses having been very heavy. 

"The houses through the country are nearly all used as 
hospitals for wounded men. In every direction I hear of 
rebel soldiers pushing for home, some in large and some in 
small squads, and generally without arms. The cavalry 
have pursued so closely that the enemy have been forced to 
destroy probably the greater part of their transportation, 
caissons, and munitions of war. 

"The number of prisoners cnptured yestei-day will ex- 
ceed two thousand. From the 28th of March to the present 
time, our loss, in killed, wounded, and captured, will prob- 
ably not reach seven thousand, of whom from fifteen bun- 


dred to two thousand are captured, and many but slightly 

" I shall continue the pursuit as long as there appears to 
be any use in it." 

Meanwhile Lee, with the remains of his army, 
had withdrawn to the north bank of the Appomat- 
tox ; the retreat had been commenced with but one 
day's rations, and as an accident had deprived them 
of the supplies forwarded to Amelia Court House, 
they were forced to depend upon the already ex- 
hausted country for food. The sufferings of the 
soldiers were intense ; many of them could find 
nothing to eat save the young twigs of trees, and 
hundreds dropped to the ground from exhaustion, 
while thousands had not strength enough to carry 
their muskets. 

President Lincoln's last order to Grant read as 
follows : — 

" General Sheridan says : ' If the thing is pressed, I think 
that Lee will surrender.' Let the thing be pressed." 

Already the Confederate officers were thinking 
seriously of a concession, although Lee was de- 
termined to hold out as long as there was a shadow 
of hope. On the 7th of April, Grant sent the fol- 
lowing- note to the rebel commander : — 

April 7, 1865. 
General R. E. Lee, Commander C. S. A. 

General, — The result of the last week must convince you 
of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the 


Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it 
is so, and regard it as mj r duty to shift from myself the re- 
sponsibility of any further effusion of blood, by asking of 
you the surrender of that portion of the Confederate States 
known as the Army of Northern Virginia. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-Oeneral, 
Commanding Armies of the United States. 

Lee replied as follows : — 

April 7, 1865. 
General, — I have received your note of this date. 
Though not entertaining the opinion you express on the 
hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of 
Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless 
effusion of blood, and, therefore, before considering your 
proposition, ask the terms you will offer, on condition of its 

R. E. Lee, General. 
To Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, 

Commanding Armies of the United States. 

That night Lee again retreated, but Grant, on 
the next morning, wrote him as follows : — 

April 8, 1865. 
To General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding Confederate States Army : 

General, — Your note of last evening in reply to mine of 
same date, asking the conditions on which I will accept the 
surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, is just re- 

In reply, I would say that, peace being my first desire, 
there is but one condition that T insist upon, namely, — 

That the men and officers surrendered shall be disqualified 
for taking uja arms again against the Government of the 


United States until properly exchanged. I will meet you, 
or will designate officers to meet any officers you may name 
for the same purpose, at any point agreeable to you, for the 
purpose of arranging definitely the terms upon which the 
surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia will be re- 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant- General, 
Commanding the Armies of the United States. 

On the 8th the pursuit was renewed, and 
about midnight of that date, General Grant, who 
was with Meade's column, received the following 
from General Lee : — 

April 8. 
General, — I received at a late hour your note of to-day 
in answer to mine of yesterday. 

I did not intend to propose the surrender of the Army of 
Northern Virginia, but to ask the terms of your proposition. 
To be frank, I do not think the emergency has arisen to call 
for the surrender. But as the restoration of peace should be 
the sole object of all, I desire to know whether your propo- 
sals would tend to that end. 

I cannot, therefore, meet you with a view to surrender the 
Army of Northern Virginia, but so far as your proposition 
may affect the Confederate States forces under my com- 
mand, and lead to the restoration of peace, I should be 
pleased to meet you at ten A. M. to-morrow, on the old stage- 
road to Richmond, between the picket-lines of the two 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. E. Lee, 
General Confederate States Armies. 
To Lieutenant-General Grant, 

Commanding Armies of the United Stotes. 


Grant, in his official report says : " Early on 
the morning of the ninth, I returned him an answer 
as follows, and immediately started to join the 
column south of the Appomattox. 

April 9. 
General R. E. Lee. Commanding C. S. A. 

General,— Your note of yesterday is received. As I 
have no authority to treat on the subject of peace, the meet- 
ing proposed at ten A. M„ to-day could lead to no good. I 
will state, however, General, that I am equally anxious for 
peace with yourself; and the whole North entertain the 
same feeling. The terms upon which peace can be had are 
well understood. By the South laying down their arms they 
will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of 
human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet 

Sincerely hoping that all our difficulties may be settled 
without the loss of another life, I subscribe myself, 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant, 
Lieutenant- General U. S. A. 

"On the morning of the ninth," continues Gen- 
eral Grant, "General Ord's command and the 
Fifth Corps reached Appomattox Station just as 
the enemy was making a desperate effort to break 
through our cavalry. The infantry was at once 
thrown in. Soon after a white flag was received 
requesting a suspension of hostilities pending ne- 
gotiations for a surrender. 

Before reaching General Sheridan's headquar- 
ters, I received the following from General Lee : — 


April 9, 1865. 
General, — I received your note of this morning on the 
picket-line, whither I had come to meet you and ascertain 
definitely what terms were embraced in your proposition of 
yesterday with reference to the surrender of this army. 

I now request an interview in accordance with the offer 
contained in your letter of yesterday for that purpose. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

It. E. Lee, General. 

To Lieutenant-General Grant, 

Commanding United States Armies. 

To this communication the following answer was 

returned : — 

April 9. 
General R. E. Lee, 

Commanding Confederate States Armies: 
Your note of this date is but this moment (11.50 A. M.,) 

In consequence of my having passed from the Richmond 
and Lynchburg road to the Farmville and Lynchburg road, 
I am at this writing about four miles west of Walter's 
Church, and will push forward to the front for the purpose 
of meeting you. 

Notice sent to me on this road where you wish the inter- 
view to take place will meet me. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. 

The interview w 7 as held at Appomattox Court- 
House, the result of which is given in the follow- 
ing correspondence : — 

Appomattox Court-IIouse, Va., 
April 9, 18G5. 
General R. E. Lee, Commanding C. S. A. 

In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of 


the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the 
Army of Northern Virginia, on the following terms, to wit: 
Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, 
one copy to be given to an officer designated by me, the 
other to be detained by such officers as you may desig- 

The officers to give their individual paroles not to take 
arms against the United States until properly exchanged, 
and each company or regimental commander sign a like 
parole for the men of their commands. 

The arms, artillery, and public property to be packed and 
stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to 
receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the 
officers, nor their private horses or baggage. 

This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return 
to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States 
authority so long as they observe their parole and the laws 
in force where they may reside. 
Very respectfully, 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant- General. 

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 
April 9, 1865. 
General,— I received your letter of this date containing 
the terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia as proposed by you. As they are substantially the 
same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th instant, they 
are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers 
to carry the stipulations into effect. 

R. E. Lee, General. 
Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant. 

After the signatures had been affixed, Lee said 
that he had forgotten one thing. Many of the 
cavalry and artillery horses in his army belonged 


to the men in charge of them, but, of course, it 
was too late then to speak of that. 

Grant immediately replied, "I will instruct 
my paroling officers that all the enlisted men of 
your cavalry and artillery who own horses are to 
retain them, just as the officers do theirs. They 
will need them for their spring ploughing and other 
farm work." 

Lee, with great earnestness, responded, " There 
is nothing, General, you could have done to ac- 
complish more good, either for them or for the 

Grant also acquiesced in Lee's request that each 
of his soldiers might be furnished with a parole to 
protect him from Confederate conscription officers. 

At a dinner party, not long after, Grant spoke 
of the interview as follows : — 

" I felt some embarrassment in the prospect of 
meeting 1 General Lee. I had not seen him since 
he was General Scott's chief of staff in Mexico. 
And in addition to the respect I entertained for 
him, the duty which I had to perform was a dis- 
agreeable one, and I wished to get through it as 
soon as possible. 

" When I reached Appomattox Court-House, 
I had ridden that morning thirty-seven miles. I 
was in my campaign clothes, covered with dust 
and mud. I had no sword. I was not even well- 
mounted. ... I found General Lee in a fresh 


suit of Confederate gray, with all the insignia of 
his rank, and at his side the splendid dress-sword 
which had been given to him by the State of 

..." When I disclaimed any desire to have 
any parade, but said I should be contented with 
the delivery of arms to my officers, and with the 
proper signature and authentication of paroles, he 
seemed to be greatly pleased. When I yielded 
the other point, that the officers should retain 
their side-arms and private baggage and horses, 
his emotions of satisfaction were plainly visible. 
. . . We parted with the same courtesies with 
which we had met. It seemed to me that General 
Lee evinced a feeling of satisfaction and relief 
when the business was finished." 

After this interview in the Appomattox Court- 
House, Grant rode to his headquarters and sent a 
modest despatch to Washington, which " set the 
whole North ablaze." 

Secretary Stanton immediately ordered that 
salutes of two hundred guns should be tired at the 
headquarters of every army and department, and 
at every post and arsenal in the United States, in 
commemoration of the great victory. The glad 
news seemed too good to be true. As one writer 
happily expressed it, " The storm of war, which 
had rocked the country for four long years, was 
now rolling away, and the sunlight of peace fell 


athwart the national horizon. The country for 
which Washington fought and Warren fell, was 
once more safe from Treason's hands, and Liberty 
was again the heritage of the people." 

The Confederate General Lee was received in 
his camp with the wildest cheers. The soldiers 
pressed forward in a dense mass to shake hands 
with him, and Lee, as little inclined to show emo- 
tion as Grant, was affected to tears, as he said in 
a broken voice, — 

" Men, we have fought through the war to- 
gether. I have done the best I could for you." 

It was a relief to both armies that no more lives 
were to be sacrificed ; and that very night twenty 
thousand Union rations afforded the hungry Con- 
federates such a feast as they had not enjoyed for 

Three days after the surrender, the Confeder- 
ate Army formed for the last time, and delivered 
up their arms. "I loved the cause," said one of 
the officers, "but we are thoroughly beaten ; now 
the stars and stripes are my flag, and I will be as 
true to it as you." 

"This is bitterly humiliating to me," remarked 
Gordon, "but I console myself by thinking that 
the whole country rejoices at this day's work." 

On the morning after the surrender, Grant re- 
ceived a card, bearing the name of a West Virginia 
cousin whom he had not seen since he was a boy. 


"Arc you one of Aunt Rachel's sons?" inquired 
the general. 

"Yes — Charley." 

" But what are you doing here ? " 

"I have been fighting in Lee's army." 

"Bad business, Charley. What do you want 
to do now ? " 

" I want to ffo home ! " 

" Have you got a horse ? " 

" No, mine was killed under me, day before 

rr Have you any money?" 


Grant immediately furnished the "reconstruc- 
ted" cousin with fifty dollars, a horse, and a 

To Gibbon, left in charge of the paroling, 
Grant gave the following directions : — 

" On completion of the duties assigned 3-011 at 
this place, you will proceed to Lynchburg, Va. 
It is desirable that there shall be as little destruc- 
tion of private property as possible. ... On 
reaching the vicinity of Lynchburg, send a summons 
to the city to surrender. If it does so, respect all 
private property, and parole officers and men 
garrisoning the place, same as has been done 
here. If resistance is made, you will be governed 
by your own judgment about the best course to 
pursue. If the city is surrendered, as it will in 


all probability be, take possession of all public 
stores. Such as may be of use to your command, 
appropriate to their use. The balance distribute 
among the poor of the city. Save all the rolling 
stock of the railroads, and if you find it practicable 
to do so, bring it to Farmville and destroy a 
bridge to the rear of it. Destroy no other portion 
of the road. All the warlike material you find, 
destroy or carry away with you." 

Grant's sense of justice, and his magnanimous 
treatment of the conquered army, won the admi- 
ration of both the North and the South. 

"It has been my fortune," he says in his official 
report, " to see the armies of both the West and 
the East fight battles, and from what I have seen 
I know there is no difference in their fiorhtins: 
qualities. All that it was possible for men to do 
in battle they have done. The Western armies 
commenced their battles in the Mississippi Valley, 
and received the final surrender of the remnant of 
the principal army opposed to them in North 
Carolina. The armies of the East commenced 
their battles on the river from which the Army of 
the Potomac derived its name, and received the 
final surrender of their old antagonist at Appomat- 
tox Court-House, Va. The splendid achievements 
of each have nationalized our victories, removed 
all sectional jealousies (of which we have, unfor- 
tunately, experienced too much), and the cause of 


crimination and recrimination that might have 
followed had either section failed in its duty. 

"All have a proud record, and all sections can 
well congratulate themselves and each other for 
having done their full share in restoring the su- 
premacy of law over every foot of territory be- 
lono-incr to the United States. Lei them hope for 
perpetual peace and harmony with that enemy 
whose manhood, however mistaken the cause, drew 
forth such herculean deeds of valor " 




/GENERAL GRANT reached Washington on 
^-^ the morning of the loth, and before night an 
order had been issued from the War Department 
directing government agents to stop all drafting 
and recruiting, and all purchasing of ammunition, 
arms, and provisions. That evening a grand illu- 
mination, surpassing any ever beheld before in 
Washington, expressed the joy of the people at the 
glad tidings of Lee's surrender. The next day, 
the 14th of April, and the fourth anniversary 
of the capture of Fort Sumter by the rebels, was 
destined to be one most sadly memorable in Amer- 
ican history. At eleven o'clock that morning a 
Cabinet meeting Mas held, at which General Grant 
was present by special invitation. Plans were dis- 
cussed for the early restoration of the South, and 
Stanton made an elaborate argument to show that 
ample powers of reconstruction lay in the execu- 
tive, without the aid of Congress. 

Turning to Grant, President Lincoln asked: 
" Have you heard from Sherman ? " 


"No," replied Grant, "but I am expecting 
hourly a despatch announcing Johnston's surren- 

" I am sure you will get important news soon." 

To Grant's look of inquiry the President ex- 
plained that often before any exciting occurrence, 
as Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, he had 
had the same singular dream. 

" I had it again last night," he continued, " and 
(turning to the Secretary of the Navy) it is in your 
line, too. I see a ship sailing very rapidly, and it 
always precedes some important event." 

After the meeting adjourned, Grant returned to 
his office to complete some writing ; his children 
were then in school at Burlington, N. J., and, re- 
fusing an invitation from the President to accom- 
pany him to the theatre that evening, the general 
and his wife took the late train for Burlington. It 
was afterwards remembered that Wilkes Booth 
galloped beside the carriage as it drove to the 
station, and glanced in at the windows. 

Upon reaching Philadelphia at midnight, a des- 
patch was received from Stanton announcing the 
terrible tragedy at Ford's Theatre. Grant returned 
to Washington by a special train, and was informed 
that arrangements had been perfected for assassi- 
nating him also, but his unexpected departure 
from the city with Mrs. Grant had frustrated these 
demoniacal plans. 


The country, still in the midst of its rejoicings 
at the dawn of peace, was now plunged into the 
depths of profound sorrow. Abraham Lincoln 
had won the hearts of all the people, and high and 
low mourned for him as for a dear and personal 

The cruel assassination of our beloved President 
was by no means an expression of the dominant 
feeling at the South — it was only an outcome of 
the frenzied rage of a few hot-headed rebels — but 
it aroused the animosity of the whole North. The 
demand of the moment seemed to be that some, at 
least, of the rebel leaders ought to be hanged at 
once, " as an example to posterity." Lincoln, how- 
ever, had always favored a lenient policy towards 
the Confederates, and Grant had given very liberal 
terms at Appomattox. If the rebels were now 
willing to lay down their arms, obey the laws, and 
become good citizens, it seemed unworthy of a 
great people to degrade or humiliate them. The 
South had already been fearfully punished — why 
should there be further bloodshed and suffering? 
With the national authority restored, and those 
who had helped to restore it fully protected from 
their late foes, was it not better to leave the rest 
to the softening influences of time? 

Sherman, then in North Carolina, received on 
the 14th of April a note from Johnston, con- 
cerning a surrender. Remembering President 


Lincoln's leniency, he granted an armistice, and 
agreed to articles of capitulation that he thought 
Mould be approved by the Government. President 
Johnson, however, immediately rejected Sher- 
man's treaty, and Stanton set forth the*reasons in 
a public order, in terms that were needlessly offen- 

Grant, sent forward by the Government to in- 
form Sherman that his terms were countermanded, 
reached that officer's headquarters on the 24th of 
April, and delivered the ungracious message in 
his own happy manner. 

Sherman promptly acquiesced, and demanded the 
surrender of Johnston's army on the same terms as 
those accorded to Lee. This new treaty was 
acceded to without further parley. 

Grant now established his headquarters in 
Washington, and from here he wrote to Halleck 
on the 6th of May : — 

" Although it would meet with opposition in the 
North to allow Lee the benefit of amnesty, I 
think it would have the best possible effect toward 
restoring good feeling and peace in the South to 
have him come in. All the people, except a few 
political leaders in the South, will accept whatever 
he does as right, and will be guided to a great ex- 
tent by his example." 

Afterwards, when Lee was indicted for treason 
by a Virginia grand jury, General Grant said : — 


" In my opinion, the officers and men paroled at 
Appomattox Court-House, and since, upon the 
same terms given to Lee, can not be tried for trea- 
son so long as they observe the terms of their pa- 
role. This is my understanding. Good faith, as 
well as true policy, dictates that we should observe 
the conditions of that convention. Bad faith on 
the part of the Government, or a construction of 
that convention subjecting the officers to trial for 
treason, would produce a feeling of insecurity in 
the minds of all the paroled officers and men. If 
so disposed, they might even regard such an in- 
fraction of terms by the Government as an entire 
release from all obligations on their part." 

The last gun in the war of the rebellion was fired 
in a little skirmish near the Rio Grande, on the 
13th of May. Three days later, the Government 
paroled and liberated all prisoners of war — sixty- 
three thousand. Those who surrendered with the 
various rebel commands numbered about one hun- 
dred thousand. Our army rolls showed one 
million of men, of whom six hundred thousand 
were bearing muskets. Four months afterwards, 
nearly five-sixths had been mustered out and sent 
back to their northern homes. Before the Union 
army disbanded, a grand review was held at Wash- 
ington, and, on the 2d of June, General Grant 
issued this final order to his brave soldiers : — 


Soldiers of the Army of the United States, — 

By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of 
danger and alarm, your magnificent fighting, bravery, and 
endurance, you have maintained the supremacy of the Union 
and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the 
enforcement of the laws, and of the proclamations forever 
abolishing slavery (the cause and pretext of the rebellion), 
and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore 
order, and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring 
basis on every foot of American soil. 

Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, 
resolution and brilliancy of results, dim the lustre of the 
world's past military achievements, and will be the patriot's 
precedent in defence of liberty and right in all time to come. 

In obedience to your country's call, you left your homes 
and families, and volunteered in its defence. Victory has 
crowned your valor and secured the purpose of your patriotic 
hearts ; and with the gratitude of your countrymen, and the 
highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will 
soon be permitted to return to your homes and families, 
conscious of having discharged the highest duty of Ameri- 
can citizens. 

To achieve the glorious triumphs, and secure to your- 
selves, your fellow-countrymen and posterity the blessings 
of free institutions, tens of thousands of your gallant com- 
rades have fallen and sealed the priceless legacy with their 
lives. The graves of these a grateful nation bedews with 
tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and sup- 
port their stricken families. 

Several leaders of the late Confederacy now 
migrated to Mexico and tried to take many fol- 
lowers ; and through the Pacific States a war to 
expel the troops of Louis Napoleon, who had in- 


vaded Mexico to establish an imperial government, 
"would have been universally popular. 

The following letter, written by Grant to the 
President, gives, in a clear, terse manner, his own 
excellent views upon the subject : — 

The great interest which I feel in securing an honorable 
and permanent peace, whilst we still have in service a force 
sufficient to insure it, and the danger and disgrace which, 
in my judgment, threaten us, unless positive and early 
measures are taken to avert them, induce me to lay my 
views before you in an official form. 

In the first place, I regard the act of attempting to es- 
tablish a monarchical government on this continent, in 
Mexico, by foreign bayonets, as an act of hostility against 
the Government of the United States. If allowed to go on 
until such a government is established, I see nothing before 
us but a long, expensive, and bloody war; one in which the 
enemies of this country will be joined by tens of thousands 
of disciplined soldiers, embittered against their government 
by the experience of the last four years. 

As a justification for open resistance to the establishment 
of Maximilian's government in Mexico, I would give the 
following reasons: — 

First — The act of attempting to establish a monarchy on 
this continent was an act of known hostility to the Govern- 
ment of the United States; was protested against at the 
time, and would not have been undertaken but for the great 
war which was raging, and which it was supposed by all the 
great powers of Europe, except, possibly, Russia, would re- 
sult in the dismemberment of the country, and the over- 
throw of republican institutions. 

Second— Every act of the empire of Maximilian has been 
hostile to the Government of the United States. Mata- 
moras, and the whole Rio Grande under his control, has 


been an open port to those in rebellion against this Govern- 
ment. It is notorious that every article held by the rebels 
for export was permitted to cross the Rio Grande, and from 
there go unmolested to all parts of the world, and they in 
return to receive in pay all articles, arms, munitions of war, 
etc., they desired. Rebels in arms have been allowed to 
take refuge on Mexican soil, protected by French bayonets. 
French soldiers have fired on our men from the south side 
of the river, in aid of the rebellion. Officers acting under 
the authority of the would be empire have received arms, 
munitions, and other public property from the rebels, after 
the same had become the property of the United States. It 
is now reported, and I think there is no doubt of the truth of 
the report, that large organized and armed bodies of rebels 
have gone to Mexico to join the imperialists. It is further 
reported, and too late we will find the report confirmed, that 
a contract or agreement has been entered into with Dr. 
Gwinn, a traitor to his country, to invite into Mexico armed 
immigrants for the purpose of wrenching from the rightful 
government of that country states never controlled by the 

It will not do to remain quiet, and theorize that by show- 
ing a strict neutrality all foreign force will be compelled to 
leave Mexican soil. Rebel immigrants to Mexico will go 
with arms in their hands. They will not be a burden upon 
the States, but, on the contrary, will become producers, 
always ready, when emergency arises, to take up their arms 
in defence of the cause they espouse. That their leaders 
will espouse the cause of the empire, purely out of hostility 
to this Government, I feel there is no doubt. There is a 
hope that the rank and file may take the opposite side, if 
any influence is allowed to work upon their reason. But if 
a neutrality is to be observed which allows armed rebels 
to cro to Mexico, and which keeps out all other immigrants, 
and which also denies to the liberals of Mexico belligerent 
rights, the right to buy arms and munitions in foreign 


markets, and to transport them through friendly territory to 
their homes, I see no chance for such influence to be brought 
to bear. 

What I would propose' would be a solemn protest 
against the establishment of a monarchical government in 
Mexico by the aid of foreign bayonets. If the French have 
a just claim against Mexico, I would regard them as having 
triumphed, and would guarantee them suitable award for 
their grievances. Mexico would no doubt admit their claim, 
if it did not affect their territory or rights as a free people. 

The United States could take such pledges as would se- 
cure her against loss. How all this could be done without 
bringing on an armed conflict, others who have studied such 
matters could tell better than I. 

If this course cannot be agreed upon, then I would 
recognize equal belligerent rights to both parties. I would 
interpose no obstacle to the passage into Mexico of emi- 
grants to that country. I would allow either party to buy 
arms, or anything we have to sell, and interpose no obstacle 
to their transit. 

These views have been hastily drawn up, and contain 
but little of what might be said on the subject treated of. If, 
however, they serve to bring the matter under discussion, 
they will have accomplished all that is desired. 

Some weeks later, he writes from Galena, 111,, to 
the President upon the same subject : — 

Seven weeks 1 absence from Washington, and free inter- 
course with all parties and classes of people, have convinced 
me that there is but one opinion as to the duty of the United 
States toward Mexico, or rather the usurpers in that coun- 
try. All agree that, besides a yielding of the long-proclaimed 
Monroe doctrine, non-intervention in Mexican affairs will 
lead to an expensive and bloody war hereafter, or a yielding 
of territory now possessed by us. To let the empire of 


Maximilian be established on our frontier, is to permit an 
enemy to establish himself who will require a large standing 
army to watch. Militaiy stations will be at points remote 
from supplies, and therefore expensive to keep. The trade 
of an empire will be lost to our commerce, and Americans, 
instead of being the most favored people of the world 
throughout the length and breadth of this continent, will be 
scoffed and laughed at by their adjoining neighbors, both 
north and south — the people of the British provinces and 
of Mexico. 

Previous communications have given my views on our 
duty in the matter here spoken of, so that it is not necessary 
that I should treat the subject at any length now. Conver- 
sations with you have convinced me that you think about it 
as I do; otherwise I should never have taken the liberty of 
writing in this manner. I have had the opportunity of 
mingling more intimately with all classes of the community 
than the executive can possibly have, and my object is to 
give you the benefit of what I have heard expressed. 

I would have no hesitation in recommending that notice 
be given the French that foreign troops must be withdrawn 
from the continent and the people left free to govern them- 
selves in their own way. I would openly sell on credit to 
the government of Mexico all the ammunition and clothing 
they want, and aid them with officers to command 
troops. In fine, I would take such measures as would se- 
cure the supremacy of republican government in Mexico. 

I hope you will excuse me for the free manner in which 
I address you. I but speak my honest convictions, and then 
with the full belief that a terrible strife in this country is to 
be averted by prompt action in this matter with Mexico. 




TN November of that year, General Grant started 
- 1 - on a journey through the Southern States; visit- 
ing Raleigh, Charleston, Savannah, Augusta, and 
other of the larger cities, scrutinizing the military 
forces, the Freedmen's Bureau, and mingling 1 freely 
with all classes of citizens. Upon his return he 
made the following report, at the request of the 
President : — 

I am satisfied that the mass of thinking men of the 
South accept the present situation of affairs in good faith. 
The questions which have hitherto divided the sentiments of 
the people of the two sections — slavery and State rights, or 
the right of a State to secede from the Union — they regard 
as having been settled forever by the highest tribunal — 
arms — that man can resort to. I was pleased to learn from 
the leading men whom I met, that they not only accepted 
the'decision arrived at as final, but, now that the smoke of 
battle has cleared away, and time has been given for reflec- 
tion, that this decision has been a fortunate one for the 
whole country, they receiving the like benefits from it with 
those who opposed them in the field and in the council. . . . 
T did not meet any one — either those holding places under 
the Government, or citizens of Southern States — who 
thought it practicable to withdraw the military from the 


South at present. The white and black mutually require 
the protection of the general government. 

There is such universal acquiescence in the authority of 
the general government throughout the portions of the 
country visited by me, that the mere presence of a military 
force, without regard to numbers, is sufficient to maintain 
order. The good of the country requires that a force be 
kept in the interior, where there are many freedmen. Else- 
where in the Southern States than at ports upon the sea- 
coast, no force is necessary. The troops should all be white 
troops. The reasons for this are obvious. Without men- 
tioning many of them, the presence of black troops, lately 
slaves, demoralizes labor, both by their advice and furnishing 
in their camps a resort for the freedmen for long distances 
around. White troops generally excite no opposition, and 
therefore a smaller number of them can maintain order in a 
given district. 

Colored troops must be kept in bodies sufficient to defend 
themselves. It is not the thinking man who would do vio- 
lence toward any class of troops sent among them by the 
general government, but the ignorant in some places might; 
and the late slave, too, who might be imbued with the idea 
that the property of his late master should by right belong 
to him, at least should have no protection from the colored 

. . . My observations lead me to the conclusion that the 
citizens of the Southern States are anxious to return to self- 
government within the Union as soon as possible; that 
while reconstructing they want and require protection from 
the Government; that they are in earnest in wishing to do 
what they think is required by the Governmctt, not humili- 
ating to them as citizens, and that if such a course was 
pointed out they would pursue it in good faith. It is to be 
regretted that there cannot be a greater commingling at 
this time between the citizens of the two sections, and par- 
ticularly with those intrusted with the lawmaking power. 


I did not give the operation of the Freedmen's Bureau 
that attention I would have done if more time had been at 
my disposal. Conversations, however, on the subject, with 
officers connected with the bureau, led me to think that in 
some of the States its affairs have not been conducted with 
good judgment or economy, and that the belief, widely 
spread among the freedmen of the Southern States, that the 
lands of their former owners will, at least in part, be divided 
among them, has come from agents of the bureau. ... In 
some form the Freedmen's Bureau is an absolute necessity 
until the civil law is established and enforced, securing to 
freedmen their rights and full protection. . . . Everywhere 
General Howard, the able head of the bureau, has made 
friends by the just and fair instructions and advice he 
gave. . . . The effect of the belief in the distribution of 
the lands is idleness and accumulation in camps, towns, and 

About this time a bill was revived in the House 
of Representatives for creating the grade of " Gen- 
eral of the Army of the United States." This 
had never been held by any American except 
Washington, and was now intended, not as a per- 
manent rank, but only for Grant, its terms pro- 
viding : — 

Whenever any general shall have been appointed and 
commissioned under the provisions of this act, if thereafter 
the office shall become vacant, this act shall thereupon expire 
and remain no longer in force. 

After numerous tributes to General Grant from 
members of both parties, and one vehement pro- 
test against our emulating " the effete monarchies 
of Europe " in hero-worship, the bill passed the 


House, one hundred and sixteen yeas to eleven 
nays. The Senate concurred almost unanimously, 
Grant was appointed general, and Sherman pro- 
moted to the lieutenant-generalship thus made 

President Johnson now requested the Secretary 
of War to have Grant accompany our new minis- 
ter to Mexico, which was about to be evacuated 
by the French, in order " to give him the aid of 
his advice," and "as evidence of the earnest desire 
felt by the United States for the proper adjust- 
ment of the questions involved." 

Grant, however, replied to Stanton in a letter 
marked "private," and dated October 21: "It 
is a diplomatic service for which I am not fitted, 
either by education or taste. It has necessarily to 
be conducted under the State Department, with 
which my duties do not connect me. Again, then, 
I most respectfully but urgently repeat my request 
to be excused from the performance of a duty en- 
tirely out of my sphere, and one, too, which can 
be so much better performed by others." 

To the President, who reiterated his request, 
Grant replied : " I now again beg most respect- 
fully to decline the proposed mission, for the fol- 
lowing additional reasons, to wit, — Now, whilst 
the army is being reorganized and troops distribu- 
ted as fast as organized, my duties require me to 
keep within telegraphic communication of all the 


department commanders, and of this city, from 
which orders must emanate. Almost the entire 
frontier between the United States and Mexico is 
embraced in the departments commanded by Gen- 
erals Sheridan and Hancock, the command of the 
latter being embraced in the military division 
under Lieutenant-General Sherman, three officers 
in whom the entire country has unbounded confi- 
dence. Either of these general officers can be in- 
structed to accompany the American minister to 
the Mexican frontier, or the one through whose 
command the minister may propose to pass in 
reaching his destination. 

"If it is desirable that our minister should com- 
municate Avith me, he can do so through the officer 
who may accompany him, with but very little de- 
lay beyond what would be experienced if I were to 
accompany him myself. I might add that I would 
not dare counsel the minister in any matter beyond 
stationing of troops on the United States soil, with- 
out the concurrence of the administration. That 
concurrence could be more speedily had with me 
here than if I were upon the frontier. The sta- 
tioning of troops would be as fully within the 
control of the accompanying officer as it would be 
of mine." 

In speaking of the issues of the day, Grant said 
to a friend : " I never could have believed that I 
should favor giving negroes the right to vote : 


but that seems to me the only solution of our 

To the ex-rebel General Taylor, a son of Presi- 
dent Taylor, and an old acquaintance, he wrote : 
" The day after you left here the President sent 
for me, as I expected he would, after conversation 
with his attorney-general. I told him my views 
candidly about the course I thought he should 
take, in view of the verdict of the late elections. 
It elicited nothing satisfactory from him, but did 
not bring out the strong opposition he sometimes 
shows to views not agreeing with his own. I was 
followed by General Sickles, who expressed about 
the same opinions I did. Since that I have talked 
with several members of Congress who are classed 
with the radicals — Schenck and Boutwell, for in- 
stance. They express the most generous views as 
to what would be done if the constitutional amend- 
ments proposed by Congress were adopted by the 
Southern States. What was done in the case of 
Tennessee was an earnest of what would be done 
in all cases. 

" Even the disqualification to hold office imposed 
on certain classes by one article of the amendment 
would, no doubt, be removed at once, except it 
might be in the cases of the very highest offend- 
ers, such, for instance, as those who went abroad 
to aid in the Rebellion, those who left seats in 
Congress, etc. All, or very nearly all, would soon 


be restored ; and so far as security to property and 
liberty are concerned, all would be restored at once. 
I would like exceedingly to see one Southern 
State, excluded State, ratify the amendment, to 
enable us to see the exact course that would be 
pursued. I believe it would much modify the de- 
mands that may be made if there is delay." 

To Orr of South Carolina, Brown and "Walker 
of Georgia, and other late secessionists, Grant 
gave the following advice : " Go to the Union 
Republicans in Congress, and to them alone. Have 
nothing whatever to do with Northerners who 
opposed the war. They will never again be in- 
trusted with power. The more you consort with 
them, the more exacting the Republicans will be, 
and ought to be. When you get home urge your 
people to accept negro suffrage. If you had 
promptly adopted the constitutional amendment 
abolishing slavery, or the one making negroes 
citizens, and guaranteeing the public debt, Con- 
gress would undoubtedly have admitted you ere 
this. Now it will add impartial suffrage. The 
sooner you accept that, the better for all con- 

The first reconstruction act, a military bill, 
"for the more efficient government of the late 
rebel States," which passed March 2d, 1867, was 
framed chiefly by General Grant. He also urged 
the holding of the extra session, three weeks later, 


when a supplementary act was passed so that the 
legislative power might be ready to frustrate any 
effort of the President to violate the laws. 

Knowing Johnson's determination to be rid of 
Stanton and Sheridan, Grant wrote him on the 1st 
of August the following earnest letter, marked 
"private." Had it been made public at the time, 
much unjust criticism of Grant would have been 
averted : — 

I take the liberty of addressing you privately on the 
subject of the conversation we had this morning, feeling as 
I do the great danger to the welfare of the country should 
you carry out the designs then expressed. 

First — On the subject of the displacement of the Secre- 
tary of War. His removal cannot be effected against his 
will without the consent of the Senate. It is but a short 
time since the United States Senate was in session, and why 
not then have asked for his removal if it was desired? It 
certainly was the intention of the legislative branch of gov- 
ernment to place cabinet ministers beyond the power of 
executive removal, and it is pretty well understood that, 
so far as cabinet ministers are affected by the Tenure 
of Office Bill, it was intended specially to protect the Secre- 
tary of War, whom the country felt great confidence in. The 
meaning of the law may be explained away by an astute 
lawyer, but common sense and the views of loyal people 
will give to it the effect intended by its framers. 

On the subject of the removal of the very able com- 
mander of the Fifth Military District, let me ask you to 
consider the effect it would have upon the public. He is 
universally and deservedly beloved by the people who sus- 
tained this Government through its trials, and feared by 
those who would still be enemies of the Government. It 


fell to the lot of but few men to do as much against an 
armed enemy as General Sheridan did during the Rebel- 
lion, and it is within the scope of the ability of but few 
in this or any other country to do what he has. His civil 
administration has given equal satisfaction. He has had 
difficulties to contend with which no other district com- 
mander has encountered. Almost, if not quite, from the 
day he was appointed district commander to the present 
time, the press has given out that he was to be removed ; 
that the administration was dissatisfied with him, etc. 
This has emboldened the opponents to the laws of Con- 
gress within his command to oppose him in every way 
in their power, and has rendered necessary measures which 
otherwise may never have been necessary. In conclusion, 
allow me to say, as a friend desiring peace and quiet, 
the welfare of the whole country, North and South, that 
it is, in my opinion, more than the loyal people of this 
country (I mean those who supported the Government dur- 
ing the great Rebellion) will quietly submit to, to see the 
very men of all others whom they have expressed confi- 
dence in removed. 

I would not have taken the liberty of addressing the 
Executive of the United States thus but for the conversa- 
tion alluded to in this letter, and from a sense of duty, feel- 
ing that I know I am right in this matter. 

The President, however, suspended Stanton and 
made Grant Secretary of War, ad interim, on the 
12th of August. 

Dreading above all things a direct conflict be- 
tween the Executive and Congress, Grant wrote 
to Stanton that same day, " In notifying you of 
my acceptance, I cannot let the opportunity pass 
without expressing to you my appreciation of the 


zeal, patriotism, firmness, and ability with which 
you have ever discharged the duties of Secretary 
of War." 

The Senate refused to sanction the suspension 
of Stanton, and Grant, upon receiving official 
notice of the action of the Senate, at once sur- 
rendered the office to Stanton. 

The President was very much incensed, and 
asserted in a letter to Grant, "You promised you 
would either return the War Office to my posses- 
sion in time to enable me to appoint a successor 
before final action by the Senate on Mr. Stanton's 
suspension, or would remain at its head, awaiting 
a decision of the question by judicial proceed- 

To this Grant replied on the 3d of February : — 
"Performance of the promises alleged to have 
been made by me would have involved a re- 
sistance of the law, and an inconsistency with the 
whole history of my connection with the suspen- 
sion of Mr. Stanton. From our conversation and 
my written protest of August 1, 1867, against the 
removal of Mr. Stanton, you must have known 
that my greatest objection to his removal was the 
fear that some one would be appointed in his stead 
who would, by opposition to the laws relating to 
the restoration of the Southern States to their 
proper relation to the Government, embarrass the 
army in the performance of the duties especially 


imposed upon it by the laws, and that it was to 
prevent such an appointment that I accepted the 
appointment of Secretary of War, ad interim, 
and not for the purpose of enabling you to get 
rid of Mr. Stanton. The course you have under- 
stood I agreed to pursue was in violation of law, 
and that without orders from you ; while the 
course I did pursue, and which I never doubted 
you fully understood, was in accordance with law, 
and not in disobedience to any orders of my su- 
perior. And now, Mr. President, when my honor 
as a soldier and integrity as a man have been so 
violently assailed, pardon me for saying that I can 
but regard this whole matter, from beginning to 
end, as an attempt to involve me in the resistance 
of law for which you hesitated to assume the re- 
sponsibility, in order thus to destroy my character 
before the country. I am in a measure confirmed 
in this conclusion by your recent orders, directing 
me to disobey orders from the Secretary of War, 
my superior and your subordinate, without having 
countermanded his authority." 

During the five months, ad interim, that Grant 
held the office of Secretary of War, he curtailed 
the monthly expenditures of that department $100,- 
000, which would have made an annual saving of 
more than $1,200,000. 




rpiIE Republican National Convention met at 
-L Chicago on the 20th day of May, 1868. On 
the second day after the adoption of the platform, 
General John A. Logan arose and said : — 

" In the name of the loyal citizens, soldiers and 
sailors of this great republic, the United States of 
America ; in the name of loyalty, of liberty, of 
humanity, of justice ; in the name of the National 
Union Republican party, I nominate as candidate 
for the chief magistrate of this nation, Ulysses S. 
Grant." The States were called, and 650 votes 
were cast for Grant — not one against him. On 
the fifth ballot Schuyler Colfax was nominated for 
the second place on the ticket. The platform on 
which Grant and Colfax were placed was compar- 
atively short. It was almost entirely devoted to 
issues arising from the war and reconstruction, 
and the course of President Johnson, the impeach- 
ment proceedings against whom were just draw- 
ing to a close. Some of Grant's intimate friends 
advised him not to accept the nomination, because 


of his inexperience in civil affairs. But to all such 
he replied : " All you say is plain to me. I am 
aware of the difficulties awaiting any man who 
takes that position with its present complications. 
I have no ambition for the place. My profession 
is suited to my tastes and habits. I have arrived 
at its height, and been honored with a position to 
continue for life, with a generous compensation, 
and satisfactory to the highest aspirations of a 
soldier. It will be the greatest sacrifice I ever 
made to give this up for the turmoil of the presi- 
dential office. But if the people ask it, I must 
yield. For some years, the people of America 
have trusted their sons and brothers and fathers to 
me, and every step taken with them, in the period 
from Belmont to Appomattox, has been tracked 
in the best blood of this country. If now they 
need me to finish the work, I must accept the 
duty, if in doing so I lay down the realization of 
my most ambitious hopes." 

In his letter of acceptance, dated at Washington, 
May 29, 1868, Grant wrote to the Committee : — 
"In formally accepting the nomination of the 
National Union Republican Convention of the 
twenty-first of May inst., it seems proper that 
some statement of views beyond the mere accept- 
ance of the nomination should be expressed. The 
proceedings of the convention were marked with 
wisdom, moderation and patriotism, and, I believe, 


express the feelings of the great mass of those 
who sustained the country through its recent trials. 
1 indorse the resolutions. 

"If elected to the office of President of the United 
States, it will be my endeavor to administer all 
the laws in good faith, with economy, and with 
the view of giving peace, quiet and protection 
everywhere. In times like the present, it is im- 
possible, or at least eminently improper, to lay 
down a policy to be adhered to, right or wrong, 
through an administration of four years. New 
political issues, not foreseen, are constantly aris- 
ing ; the views of the public on old ones are con- 
stantly changing, and a purely administrative 
officer should be left free to execute the will of 
the people. I always have respected that will, 
and always shall. Peace, and universal prosperity 
— its sequence — with economy of administration, 
will lighten the burden of taxation, while it con- 
stantly reduces the national debt. Let us have 

Six w r eeks later the Democratic Convention 
nominated Horatio Seymour, and filled out its 
ticket with the name of Gen. Frank P. Blair. So 
small had been General Grant's interest in party 
politics hitherto, that his name had often been 
associated with the Democratic candidacy. 

Upon November 3d, General Grant w r as elected 
President, having received the electoral votes of 


twenty-six states. New York, New Jersey and 
Oregon were the only northern states to vote for 
Seymour ; Grant carried six of the former slave 
states, and Mississippi, Virginia and Texas did 
not vote at all. Grant would not inform the pub- 
lic whom he proposed to invite to places in the 
cabinet, as he did not desire to be importuned to 
change his selections. They were as follows : — 

Secretary of State, E. B. Wasiibukne, of Illinois. 
Secretary of the Treasury, A. T. Stewart, of New- 

Secretary of War, John M. Schofield, of Illinois. 
Secretary of the Navy, A. E. Borie, of Pennsylvania. 
Secretary of the Interior, J. D. Cox, of Ohio. 
Postmaster-General, J. A. J. Cresswele, of Maryland. 
Attorney-General, E. R. Hoar, of Massachusetts. 

They were at once confirmed, but the following 
day it was discovered that Mr. Stewart's appoint- 
ment was illegal, under a law preventing the hold- 
ing of the office by a man engaged in trade or 
commerce. The President asked Congress to ex- 
empt the great dry-goods merchant from the 
operation of the statute. Mr. Sumner objected 
to hasty action, and three days later the President 
withdrew his request. Mr. Stewart resigned, and 
George S. Boutwell, of Massachusetts, was ap- 
pointed to succeed him. As Mr. Washburne 
resigned at the same time, to accept the French 
mission, his place was filled by Hamilton Fish, of 
New York. General Schofield was succeeded in 


the war department by General John A. Rawlins, 
who died in less than six months, and whose 
place was filled by General W. W. Belknap. Mr. 
Borie stayed in the navy department but four 
months, when he was succeeded by George M. 

The first of President Grant's proclamations was 
issued May 19, 1869, and directed that Congress 
having passed a law declaring eight hours a day's 
work for all laborers, mechanics and workmen in 
the employ of the Government, no reduction 
should be made in the wages paid by the Gov- 
ernment by the day to the laboring men in its 
employ on account of such reduction of the hours 
of labor. 

In a message to Congress on the subject of pub- 
lic education, he wrote : " The adoption of the 
Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution com- 
pletes the greatest civil change and constitutes the 
most important event that has ever occurred since 
the nation came into life. The change will be 
beneficial in proportion to the heed that is given 
to the urgent recommendations of the f Father of 
his Country,' to r promote, as a matter of primary 
importance, institutions for the general diffusion 
of knowledge.' If these recommendations were 
important then, with a population of but a few 
millions, how much more important now ! 

" I therefore call upon Congress to take all the 


means within their constitutional powers to pro- 
mote and encourage popular education through the 
country ; and upon the people everywhere to see 
to it that all who possess and exercise political 
rights shall have the opportunity to acquire the 
knowledge which shall make their share in gov- 
ernment a blessing and not a danger. By such 
means only can the benefits contemplated by this 
amendment to the Constitution be secured." 

In regard to the pernicious system of political 
assessments, Grant wrote : " The utmost fidelity 
and diligence will be expected of all officers in 
every branch of the public service. Political as- 
sessments, as the}' are called, have been forbidden 
within the various departments ; and while the 
right of all persons in official positions to take 
part in politics is acknowledged, and the elective 
franchise is recognized as a high trust to be dis- 
charged by all entitled to its exercise, whether in 
the employment of the Government or in private 
life, honesty and efficiency, not political activity, 
will determine the tenure of office." 

It was during Grant's first term as President 
that the Pacific Railroad, connecting California 
with the Mississippi Valley, was completed. This 
road is one thousand seven hundred and seventy- 
six miles in length, and was laid in the short space 
of three years. 

One of the highest honors of Grant's first ad- 


ministration was the settling, by peaceful negotia- 
tion with Great Britain, of a long-standing inter- 
national dispute over what were known as the 
" Alabama Claims." This was the demand for in- 
demnification made by the American nation for 
the injuries done the American merchant marine 
by Confederate cruisers built and fitted out in 
England. Negotiations upon the subject with the 
British Minister at Washington resulted in an 
agreement to refer the questions in dispute to a 
joint commission, which met in Washington on the 
27th of February, 1871, and on the 8th of May 
following signed a treaty expressing the regret of 
the British Government at the escape and the depre- 
dations of the rebel cruisers, and referring the 
Alabama Claims to a tribunal of five arbitrators, to 
be appointed respectively by the President, the 
Queen of Great Britain, the Emperor of Brazil, 
the King of Italy and the President of the Swiss 
Confederation. The arbitrators held their delib- 
erations at Geneva during the summer of 1872, 
and made a final award of about sixteen millions 
of dollars damages to America. 

The success of this negotiation was hailed by 
the whole world as one of the highest triumphs of 
peace and international law, and as an example to 
all nations — heralding the glad day when peaceful 
arbitration should settle all disputes, and wars be 
only a relic of the past. 


Of the part which Grant took in bringing about 
this grand result, Hon. Mr. Bout well stated that 
when the unwritten history of the treaty came to 
be known, it would be learned that its success was 
largely owing to the personal tact, skill, and wis- 
dom of our Soldier-President. 

Special legislation was also given to the investi- 
gation of the Ku-klux conspiracy, which resulted in 
the conviction and punishment of a large number 
of persons in North Carolina, and the suppression 
of a conspiracy which, if neglected, might have 
resulted in a new rebellion. 

The President and Congress were in harmony 
on the measures taken for the reconstruction of 
the southern states ; but a scheme which the former 
favored for acquisition of the island of St. Do- 
mingo, was disapproved by the Senate. 

General Grant was very sensitive to assaults 
upon his sense of fairness. We recall his indig- 
nation in respect to charges made that his criti- 
cism and action caused the death of Minister 
Motley. Concerning him the great general said : 
" Mr. Motley was certainly a very able, very hon- 
est gentleman, fit to hold any official position, but 
he knew long, long before he went out that he 
would have to go. When I was making the ap- 
pointments, Mr. Sumner came to me and asked me 
to appoint Mr. Motley as minister to the Court of 
St. James. I told him I would, and did. Soon 


after, Mr. Sumner made that violent speech about 
the Alabama Claims, and the British Government 
was greatly offended. Sumner was at the time 
chairman of the committee on foreign affairs. 
Mr. Motley had to be instructed. The instruc- 
tions were prepared very carefully ; and after Gov- 
ernor Fish and I had gone over them for the last 
time I wrote charging him that above all things he 
should handle the subject of the Alabama Claims 
with the greatest delicacy. Mr. Motley, instead 
of obeying his explicit instructions, deliberately 
fell in line with Mr. Sumner, and thus added insult 
to the previous injury. As soon as I heard of it, I 
went over to the State Department and told Gov- 
ernor Fish to dismiss Motley at once. Mr. Fish 
advised delay, because of Sumner's position in the 
Senate and attitude on the treaty question. We 
did not want to stir him up again just then. We 
despatched a note of severe censure to Motley at 
once, and ordered him to abstain from any further 
connection with that question. Thereupon com- 
menced negotiations with the British Minister in 
Washington, and the result was the joint high 
commission and the Geneva Award. I supposed 
Mr. Motley would be manly enough to resign 
after that, but he kept on till he was removed. 
' Mr. Sumner promised that he would vote for the 
treaty ; but when it was first before the Senate, he 
did all he could to beat it. 


" I had nothing to do with his dismissal from 
the chairmanship of the foreign relations commit- 
tee, but I was glad when I heard that he was put 
off, because he stood in the way of even routine 
business, like ordinary treaties with small coun- 
tries. I may be blamed for my opposition to Mr. 
Sumner's tactics, but I was not guided so much by 
reason of his personal hatred of myself, as by a 
desire to protect our national interests in diplo- 
matic affairs. It was a sad sight to find a Senate 
with a large majority of its members in sympathy 
with the Administration, and with its chairman of 
the foreign committee in direct opposition to the 
foreign policy of the Administration, in theory and 
detail. So I was glad when I heard of his suc- 
cessor's nomination. I shall never change my 
mind as to the wisdom of the policy that brought 
about the Washington Treaty with Great Britain. 
No matter how much the friends of Sumner and 
Motley may defend them, we never could have 
procured the agreement of the British commission- 
ers or people to such a thing." 

"I have no disposition," continued the general, 
"for controversy, and particularly would I abstain 
from anything that seemed like unfavorable reflec- 
tions upon the dead, but something is due to truth 
in history, and my object in making my statement 
to Mr. Copeland was to correct grossly unjust 
and untrue statements in regard to facts and state- 


ments which reflect upon the living. I had no ill- 
will towards Mr. Motley. Mr. Copeland will no 
doubt recollect that in the conversation I had with 
him, I said I regarded Mr. Motley as a gentleman 
of culture and ability, and in every way qualified to 
fill any position within the gift of the President or 
the people. I said that the best people, even men 
as accomplished and estimable as Mr. Motley, 
made mistakes, and that Mr. Motley had made a 
mistake which made him an improper person to 
hold office. I was then, and I am now, absolutely 
without any unkindness of feeling towards Mr. 
Motley. I was sorry for the necessity which 
compelled me to replace him, and if called upon 
to speak of him I should pay a high tribute to his 
character and qualifications." 

rt It is possible," said the general, " that but for 
Mr. Sumner's opposition to the St. Domingo treaty, 
he would never have been removed from the chair- 
manship of the committee on foreign relations. 
But if that opposition had anything to do with the 
estrangement of Mr. Sumner and myself, the fault 
was his, and not mine. I made no question with 
senators who opposed St. Domingo. I recognized 
on that question, as I did always, that a senator 
had his independent duty and responsibility, the 
same as an executive. Some senators, like Mr. 
Edmunds, whom I rank among my best friends, 
and for whom I have never ceased to feel the 


highest admiration and respect, opposed the St. 
Domingo treaty as vehemently but not as abu- 
sively as Mr. Sumner. It is one thing to oppose 
the measures of an executive, and another to ex- 
press that opposition in terms of contumely, and 
attributing the basest motives, as were attributed 
to me in the St. Domingo business. My relations 
with Mr. Edmunds and his colleagues, with Mr. 
Wilson, and numerous other senators who op- 
posed the St. Domingo treaty, and whose names 
can be found in the Congressional Record, were 
never disturbed for a moment." 

General Grant then said, with some earnest- 
ness : " There is another misapprehension. It is 
said that I made my visit to Mr. Sumner about 
January 1, 1870, to try and induce him to sup- 
port the St. Domingo treaty. I never thought of 
such a thing. I had no idea that the treaty would 
meet with opposition from him or any one else. 
I called simply out of respect to the position Mr. 
Sumner held as the head of the committee on 
foreign relations, and to explain why the fact of 
such a treaty being negotiated should have been 
kept from the public and from Congress until that 
time ; and to explain to him also the reports 
brought back by the agents of the Government 
who had visited the island, as to the resources of 
St. Domingo, its soil, the character of the people, 
their wishes in regard to annexation, and other 


points. The question as to whether or not he 
would support the treaty was asked by Colonel 
Forney, who happened to be present." 

At the national convention which met in Phila- 
delphia June 5, 1872, Grant was nominated for 
a second term. His opponent was Horace Gree- 
ley, who secured the Democratic nomination, but 
Grant was re-elected by a popular majority of 

In his second inaugural address he said : " From 
my candidacy for my present office in 18G8, to the 
close of the last presidential campaign, I have been 
the subject of abuse and slander, scarcely ever 
equalled in political history, which to-day I feel I 
can afford to disregard, in view of your verdict, 
which I gratefully accept as my vindication." 

During Grant's second administration the recon- 
struction of the South went on successfully. Se- 
rious troubles arose during this time in Louisiana, 
where two governments, each claiming to be right- 
fully elected, sought to possess the governing 
power of the state, but the President proved him- 
self equal to the emergency, and succeeded in 
keeping order there as elsewhere in the South. 

His most important act during this second term 
was the veto of a bill to increase the currency. 
Adherents of the policy of inflation had been 
steadily increasing, but this action of the President 
checked the advance of an idea with which, as 


subsequent events showed, the majority of the 
people were not in sympathy. 

In the Autumn of 1873, the business of the entire 
country received a severe shock from a financial 
panic. It began with the failure of Jay Cooke & 
Company, who had become deeply involved in the 
building of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and the 
panic soon spread through all channels of business, 
till mercantile credit seemed well-nigh ruined. 
Excessive production and over-speculation were 
the chief causes of the crisis. 

As President of the United States, General 
Grant inaugurated the ceremonies of the Centen- 
nial Exposition at Philadelphia ; and on the 4ih of 
March, 1877, he resigned his position to his suc- 
cessor, Rutherford B. Hayes. 




A FTER, sixteen years of incessant public ser- 
-*--*- vice, General Grant gladly availed himself 
of an opportunity for rest and recreation. He 
could now carry out his long-cherished idea to see 
foreign countries, but declining the proffer of a 
man-of-war offered him by the government, he 
determined to take passage on the Indiana, which 
was to sail from Philadelphia on the 17th of May, 

On the morning of the departure, Mrs. Grant 
and her son Jesse, who was to accompany them, 
were taken to the steamer by the revenue cutter 
Hamilton, while the general was escorted by a large 
and distinguished company on board the steamer 
Twilight. General Sherman, at the farewell break- 
fast, said: "General Grant leaves here to-day with 
the highest regards of his fellow-citizens, and on 
his arrival at the other side there is no doubt he 
will be welcomed by friends with as willing hands 
and warm hearts as those he leaves behind. Ex- 
President Grant — General Grant — while you, 


his fellow-citizens, speak of him and regard him 
as ex-President Grant, I cannot but think of the 
times of the war, of General Grant — President of 
the United States for eight years, yet I cannot but 
think of him as the General Grant of Fort Don- 
elson. I think of him as the man who, when the 
country was in the hour of its peril, restored its 
hopes when he marched triumphant into Port Don- 
elson. After that, none of us felt the least doubt 
as to the future of our country, and therefore, if 
the name of Washington is allied with the birth of 
our country, that of Grant is forever identified 
with its preservation, its perpetuation. It is not 
here alone, on the shores of the Delaware, that 
the people love and respect you, but in Chicago 
and St. Paul, and in far-off San Francisco, the 
prayers go up to-day that your voyage may be 
prosperous and pleasant. God bless you, and 
grant you a pleasant journey and a safe return to 
your native land." 

General Grant was much affected, and re- 
sponded : " I feel much overcome by what I have 
heard. When the first toast was offered, I sup- 
posed the last words here for me had been spoken, 
and I feel overcome by sentiments to which I have 
listened, and which I feel I am altogether inade- 
quate to respond to. I don't think that the com- 
pliments ought all to be paid to me or any one 
man in either of the positions which I was called 


upon to fill. That which I accomplished — which 
I was able to accomplish — I owe to the assistance 
of able lieutenants. I was so fortunate as to be 
called to the first position in the army of the 
nation, and I had the good fortune to select lieu- 
tenants who could have filled (here the general 
turned to Sherman), had it been necessary, my 
place better than I did. I do not, therefore, re- 
gard myself as entitled to all the praise. I be- 
lieve that my friend Sherman could have taken my 
place as a soldier as well as I could, and the same 
will apply to Sheridan. And I believe, finally, 
that if our country ever comes into trial again, 
young men will spring up equal to the occasion ; 
and if one fails, there will be another to take his 
place — just as there would have been if I had 

Hon. William M. Evarts, who was then Secre- 
tary of State, sent out the following official com- 
munication to the diplomatic and consular officers 
of the United States : — 

Gentlemen, — Ulysses S. Grant, the late President of the 
United States, sailed from Philadelphia on the 17th inst. for 

The route and extent of his travels, as well as the dura- 
tion of his sojourn abroad, were alike undetermined at the 
time of his departure, the object of his journey being to 
secure a few months of rest and recreation after sixteen 
years of unremitting and devoted labor in the military and 
civil service of his country. 


The enthusiastic manifestations of popular regard and 
esteem for General Grant shown by the people in all parts 
of the country that he has visited since his retirement from 
official life, and attending his every appearance in public 
from the day of that retirement up to the moment of his de- 
parture for Europe, indicate beyond question the high place 
he holds in the grateful affections of his countrymen. 

Sharing in the largest measure this general public senti- 
ment, and at the same time expressing the wishes of the 
President, I desire to invite the aid of the diplomatic and 
consular officers of the Government to make his journey a 
pleasant one should he visit their posts. I feel already 
assured that you will find patriotic pleasure in anticipating 
the wishes of the department by showing him that attention 
and consideration which are due from every officer of the 
Government to a citizen of the Republic so signally dis- 
tinguished both in official service and personal renown. 

Upon landing at Liverpool, General Grant was 
met by a large delegation, headed by the Mayor of 
the city, who, in a brief and happy address, gave 
him a most hearty welcome to the shores of Old 
England. At London, the freedom of the city 
was conferred upon him, which is the highest 
honor that can be given by the municipal authori- 

At a banquet given by the Trinity Corporation 
in their hall at Tower Hill, the Prince of Wales 
presided, and welcomed General Grant in the fol- 
lowing words : " It is a matter of peculiar gratifi- 
cation to us Englishmen to receive as our guest 
General Grant. I can assure him for myself and 
for all loyal subjects of the queen, that it has given 


me the greatest pleasure to see him as a guest in 
this country." A few days later, the general re- 
ceived the following invitation : " The lord steward 
of her majesty's household is commanded by the 
queen to invite Mr. and Mrs. Grant to dinner at 
Windsor Castle, on Wednesday, the 27th inst., and 
to remain until the following day, the 28th of 
June, 1877." To this dinner, which was served in 
the famous Oak Room, the American minister, Mr. 
Pierrepont, and his wife, Mr. Jesse R. Grant and 
General Adam Badeau were also invited. 

On the 3d of July, General Grant received a 
deputation of workingmen, who presented him 
with an address of welcome in the name of their 
comrades throughout the United Kingdom. No 
honor, royal or civic, that he received during the 
whole three years' tour, so touched the general's 
heart, and he responded to it as follows : — 

Gentlemen, — In the name of my country, I thank you 
for the address you have just presented to me. I feel it a 
great compliment paid to my government, to the former 
government, and one to me personally. 

Since my arrival on British soil, I have received great 
attentions, and, as I feel, intended in the same way for my 
country. I have received attentions, and have had ovations, 
free handshakings, and presentations from different classes, 
and from the government, and from the controlling authori- 
ties of cities, and have been received in the cities by the 

But there is no reception I am prouder of than this one 
to-day. I recognize the fact that whatever there is of 


greatness in the United States, or indeed in any other coun- 
try, is due to the labor performed. The laborer is the author 
of all greatness and wealth. Without labor there would be 
no government, or no leading class, or nothing to preserve. 
With us labor is regarded as highly respectable. When it 
is not so regarded, it is that man dishonors labor. 

We recognize that labor dishonors no man; and no mat- 
ter what a man's occupation is, he is eligible to fill any post 
in the gift of the people. His occupation is not considered 
in the selection of him, whether as a lawmaker, or an ex- 
ecutor of the law. Now, gentlemen, in conclusion, all I 
can do is to renew my thanks to you for the address, and to 
repeat what I have said before, that I have received noth- 
ing from any class since my arrival on this soil which has 
given me more pleasure. 

After a flying trip to the Continent, where he 
was received with the highest honors, General 
Grant made his promised visit to Scotland. The 
freedom of Edinburgh was tendered him in the 
Free Assembly Hull, by the lord provost, in the 
presence of two thousand people ; and from thence 
the general went to Dunrobin us the guest of the 
Duke of Sutherland. At Elgin and Glasgow he 
was presented with the freedom of each city, to 
which honors he responded in his usual happy 
manner — striving always to make still closer the 
union of the two great English-speaking nations in 
the bonds of fraternity and amity. At Inverary 
( lastle he was the guest of the Duke of Argyle, a 
nobleman who was a great friend of the North 
during the civil war. 


At Newcastle, Sheffield and Birmingham he was 
received with unusual honors, and after staying a 
couple of weeks at Brighton, the Saratoga of En a-- 
land, he went to Paris. 

The struggle between the republicans, under 
Gambetta, and the adherents of the Count de 
Chambord, under the Due de Broglie, was just 
then at an end. General Grant's course through 
the Franco-German war, when he had expressed 
his sympathy for the German cause, had occa- 
sioned much bitter comment throughout France. 
The French people could not understand that 
Grant's enmity was entirely directed against Louis 
Napoleon and his family — not against the French 
nation. He believed that the triumph of Germany 
over the Napoleonic dynasty would prove a bless- 
ing to the country. 

In spite of these misunderstandings, however, 
the general was everywhere received in France 
with marked courtesy, and through the mediation 
of the American artist, Mr. Healy, he had the 
pleasure of a personal interview with Gambetta. 

Our Government having placed the man-of-war 
Vandalia at General Grant's disposal, the whole 
party embarked on the 13th of December, 1877, 
for Italy, Egypt, and the Holy Land. After vis- 
iting Herculaneum and Pompeii, and ascending 
Vesuvius, the party proceeded to Palermo, and 
from thence to Alexandria. At Cairo, the Khe- 


dive gave a large reception in honor of the gen- 
eral, and placed a palace at his disposal. After 
visiting various cities and towns along the Nile, 
the party left for Constantinople, where they were 
cordially received by the Sultan. From thence 
they proceeded to the shores of Greece, and from 
that historic land they returned to Italy, where 
the general was received at Eome by the Pope, 
Leo XIII. , and by King Humbert. 

At Paris the general was present and took part 
in the ceremonies of the opening of the exhibi- 
tion ; and then after a short visit in Holland he 
w r ent to Berlin. The important event of this trip 
was the meeting of Prince Bismarck. The hotel 
where the general made his headquarters was only 
a short distance from Bismarck's palace, and Grant 
proceeded there on foot, in his usual democratic 

Arriving at the entrance gate, he was ushered 
into a spacious marble hall, and was very soon 
joined by Prince Bismarck, who clasped both his 
hands and cordially exclaimed : — 

"Welcome to Germany, general." 

" There is no incident in my German tour," the 
general replied, "more interesting to me than this 
meeting with you, prince." 

" You look remarkably young," said Prince Bis- 
marck ; " } r ou must be at least twenty years 
younger than I am ? " 


"Not at all," the general replied, " only seven." 

" That " returned the prince, " shows the value 
of a military life, for here you have the frame of a 
young man, while I feel like an old one." 

All this took place in the chancellor's study, 
and after the general was seated, the prince in- 
quired about General Sheridan. 

"The general and I," said Bismarck, "were fel- 
low-campaigners in France, and we became great 

" I have had letters from Sheridan recently," the 
general replied, "and he writes me that he is feel- 
ing quite well." 

" Sheridan," said the prince, "seems to be a man 
of great ability." 

" Yes," replied the general. "I regard Sher- 
idan as not only one of the great soldiers of our 
war, but one of the great soldiers of the world, — 
as a man who is fit for the highest commands. No 
better general ever lived than Sheridan." 

"I observed," said the prince, "that he had a 
wonderfully quick eye. On one occasion I re- 
member, the emperor and his staff took up a posi- 
tion to observe a battle. The emperor himself 
was never near enough to the front, was always 
impatient to be as near the fighting as possible. 
' Well,' said Sheridan to me as we rode along, ' we 
shall never stay here ; the enemy will in a short 
time make this so untenable, that we shall all be 


leaving in a hurry. Then while the men are ad- 
vancing, they will see us retreating.' Sure enough, 
in an hour or so the cannon-shot began to plunge 
this Way and that way, and we saw we must leave. 
It was difficult to remove the emperor, though ; but 
we all had to go," and, said the prince, with a hearty 
laugh, "we went rapidly. Sheridan had seen it 
from the beginning. I wish I had so quick an 

The Congress of Berlin being then in session, 
the general said he hoped there would be a peace- 
ful result. 

"That is my hope and belief," said the prince. 
" That is all our interest in the matter. We have 
no business with the congress whatever, and are 
attending to the business of others by calling a 
congress. But Germany wants peace, and Europe 
wants peace, and all our labors are to that end. 
In the settlement of the questions arising out of 
the San Stefano treaty, Germany has no interest 
of a selfish character. I suppose," said the prince, 
" the whole situation may be summed up in this 
phrase : in making the treaty, Russia ate more 
than she could digest, and the main business of 
the congress is to relieve her. The war has been 
severe upon Russia, and of course she wants 

" How long do you think the congress will sit ? " 
asked the general. 


"I believe," replied the prince, "there will be 
seven or eight more sittings. I wish it were over," 
he added, " for Berlin is so warm, and I want to 
leave it, Besides, it keeps me so busy that I am 
unable to take you around and show Berlin to 

The emperor having been shot at and wounded 
while General Grant was in Berlin, he was unable to 
see the warrior-king. Alluding to this fact, Prince 
Bismarck said : — 

"His majesty has been expecting you, and 
evinces the greatest interest in your achievements, 
in the distinguished part you have played in the 
history of your country, and in your visit to Ger- 
many. He commands me to say that nothing but 
his doctor's orders that he shall see no one pre- 
vents his seeing you." 

" I am sorry that I cannot have that honor," re- 
plied the general, " but I am far more sorry for 
the cause, and hope that the emperor is recov- 

"All the indications are of the best," answered 
the prince, " for the emperor has a fine constitution 
and great courage and endurance, but you know 
he is a very old man." 

"That," said the general, "adds to the horror 
one feels for the crime." 

" It is so strange, so strange and so sad," an- 
swered the prince, feelingly. "Here is an old 


man — one of the kindest old gentlemen in the 
world — and yet they must try and shoot him! 
There never was a more simple, more genuine, 
more — what shall I say ? — more humane character 
than the emperor's. He is totally unlike men who 
come into the world in his rank ; born princes are 
apt to think themselves of another race and another 
world. They are apt to take small account of the 
wishes and feelings of others. All their education 
tends to deaden the human side. But this em- 
peror is so much of a man in all things ! He 
never did anyone a wrong in his life. He never 
wounded anyone's feelings ; never imposed a hard- 
ship ! He is the most genial and winning of men 
— thinking always, anxious al way s for the comfort 
and welfare of his people — of those around him. 
You cannot conceive of a finer type of the noble, 
courteous, charitable old gentleman, with every 
high quality of a prince, as well as every virtue of 
a man. I should have supposed that the emperor 
could have walked alone all over the empire with- 
out harm, and yet they must try and shoot him. 
In some respects," added the prince after a pause, 
" the emperor resembles his ancestor, Frederick 
William, the father of Frederick the Great. The 
difference between the two is that the old kins: 
avou Id be severe and harsh at times to those 
around him, while the emperor is never harsh to 
anyone. But the old king had so much simplic- 


ity of character, lived an austere life ; had all the 
republican qualities. So with this king; he is so 
republican in all things that even the most extreme 
republican, if he did his character justice, would 
admire him." 

"The influence," said General Grant, "which 
aimed at the emperor's life, was an influence that 
would destroy all government, all order, all soci- 
ety, republics and empires. In America, some of 
our people are, as I see from the papers, anxious 
about it. There is only one way to deal with it, 
and that is by the severest methods. I don't see 
why a man who commits a crime like this, a crime 
that not only aims at an old man's life, a ruler's 
life, but shocks the world, should not meet with 
the severest punishment. In fact," the general 
continued, "although at home there is a strono- 
sentiment against the death penalty, and it is a 
sentiment which one naturally respects, I am not 
sure but it should be made more severe rather than 
less severe. Something is due to the offended as 
well as the offender, especially when the offended 
is slain." 

>r That," said the prince, "is entirely my view. 
My convictions are so strong that I resigned the 
government of Alsace because I was required to 
commute sentences of a capital nature. I could 
not do it in justice to my conscience. You see, 
this kind old gentleman, the emperor whom these 


very people have tried to kill, is so gentle that lie 
will never confirm a death sentence. Can you 
think of anything so strange as that a sovereign 
whose tenderness of heart has practically abolished 
the death punishment should be the victim of as- 
sassination, or attempted assassination ? That is 
the fact. Well, I have never agreed with the 
emperor on this point, and in Alsace, when I 
found that as chancellor I had to approve all com- 
mutations of the death sentence, I resigned. In 
Prussia that is the work of the minister of justice ; 
in Alsace it devolved upon me. I felt, as the 
French say, that something was due to justice, 
and if crimes like these are rampant, they must 
be severely punished." 

" All you can do with such people," said the 
general, " is to kill them." 

" Precisely so," replied the prince. 

After chatting on various other topics, the prince 
said that the emperor regretted very much his ina- 
bility to show General Grant a review in person, and 
that the crown prince would give him one. " But," 
said the prince, " the old gentleman is so much of a 
soldier, and so fond of his army, that nothing would 
give him more pleasure than to display it to so 
great a soldier as yourself." 

"The truth is," said the general, smiling, "I 
am more of a farmer than a soldier. I take little 
or no interest in military affairs, and although I 


entered the army thirty-five years ago, and have 
been in two wars, in Mexico as a young lieutenant, 
and later in our civil war, I never went into the 
army without regret, and never retired without 

" You are so happily placed," replied the prince, 
" in America, that you need fear no wars. What 
always seemed so sad to me about your last great 
war was that you were fighting your own people. 
That is always so terrible in wars, so very hard." 

"But it had to be done," said the general. 

" Yes," said the prince, " you had to save the 
Union, just as we had to save Germany." 

" Not only save the Union, but destroy slavery." 

"I suppose, however, the Union was the real 
sentiment, the dominant sentiment," said the 

" In the beginning, yes," said the general ; " but 
as soon as slavery fired upon the flag, it was felt, 
we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, 
that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it 
-was a stain upon the Union that men should be 
bought and sold like cattle." 

" I had an old and good friend, an American, in 
Motley," said the prince, "who used to write me 
now and then. Well, when your war broke out, he 
wrote me. He said, f I will make a prophecy, 
and please take this letter and put it in a tree or a 
box for ten years, then open it and see if I am not 


a prophet. I prophesy that when this war ends 
the Union will be established and we shall not lose 
a village or a hamlet.' This was Motley's proph- 
ecy," said the prince, " and it was true." 

"Yes," said the general, " it was true." 

" I suppose if you had had a large array at the 
beginning of the war, it would have ended in a 
much shorter time ? " 

" We might have had no war at all," said the 
general ; " but we cannot tell. Our war had 
many strange features — there were many things 
which seemed odd enough at the time, but which 
now seem providential. If we had had a large reg- 
ular army, as it was then constituted, it might have 
gone with the South. In fact, the Southern feeling 
in the army, among high officers, was so strong that 
when the war broke out the army dissolved. We 
had no army then — we had to organize one. A 
great commander, like Sherman or Sheridan, even 
then might have organized an army and put down 
the rebellion in six months, or a year, or at the 
furthest, two years. Pmt that would have saved 
slavery, perhaps, and slavery meant the germs of 
new rebellion. There had to be an end of 
slavery. Then we were fighting an enemy with 
whom we could not make peace. We had to de- 
stroy him. No consideration, no treaty was pos- 

"It was a long war," said the prince, "and a 

TOUR AROUND THE WORLD. 259 work well done — and I suppose it means a 
long peace." 

" I believe so," said the general. 

This ended the conversation between the two 
great men. General Grant arose and said : — 

" Prince, I beg to renew the expression of my 
pleasure at having seen a man who is so well 
known and so highly esteemed in America." 

"General," replied the prince, "the pleasure and 
the honor are mine. Germany and America have 
always been in such friendly relationship that 
nothing delights us more than to meet Americans, 
and especially an American who has done so much 
for his country, and whose name is so much 
honored in Germany as your own." 

The prince and the general thereupon shook 
hands, and the general left, pleased with the recep- 
tion he had received, and greatly impressed with 
the ability of his host. 

The following day the review took place, and 
the soldierly bearing of the troops was freely re- 
marked upon by the general. 

The general was attended by Major Igel, and in 
a discussion he had with that officer on the use of 
the bayonet and sabre in modern warfare, the gen- 
eral said : — 

" What I mean is this : anything that adds to 
the burdens carried by the soldier is a weakness to 
the army. Every ounce he carries should tell in 


his efficiency. The bayonet is heavy, and if it 
were removed, or if its weight in food or ammuni- 
tion were added in its place, the army would be 
stronger. As for the bayonet as a weapon, if sol- 
diers come near enough to use it, they can do as 
much good with the club-end of their muskets. 
The same is true as to sabres. I would take away 
the bayonet, and give the soldiers pistols in the 
place of sabres ; a sabre is always an awkward 
thing to carry." 




A FTER leaving Berlin, General Grant visited 
-^- Hamburg, where a large banquet was given 
in his honor by American residents. In response 
to the consul's toast, he made the following char- 
acteristic reply : — 

Mr. Consul and Friends : I am much obliged to you 
for the kind manner in which you drink my health. I share 
with you in all the pleasure and gratitude which Americans 
so far from home should feel on this anniversary. But I 
must dissent from one remark of our consul, to the effect 
that I saved the country during the recent war. If our 
country could be saved or ruined by the efforts of any one 
man, we should not have a country, and we should not be 
now celebrating our Fourth of July. 

There are many men who would have done far better 
than I did under the circumstances in which I found myself 
during the war. If I had never held command ; if I had 
fallen ; if all our generals had fallen, there were ten thou- 
sand behind us who would have done our work just as well, 
who would have followed the contest to the end, and never 
surrendered the Union. Therefore it is a mistake and a 
reflection upon the people to attribute to me, or to any 
number of us who held high commands, the salvation of 
the Union. We did our work as well as we could, and so 
did hundreds of thousands of others. 


"We deserve no credit for it, for we should have been un- 
worthy of our country and of the American name if we had 
not made every sacrifice to save the Union. What saved 
the Union was the coming forward of the young men of the 
nation. They came from their homes and fields, as they 
did in the time of the Revolution, giving everything to the 
country. To their devotion we owe the salvation of the 
Union. The humblest soldier who carried a musket is 
entitled to as much credit for the results of the war as 
those who were in command. So long as our young 
men are animated by this spirit, there will be no fear for 
the Union. 

A few days were then spent in Copenhagen, 
Stockholm and St. Petersburg. At the latter city 
General Grant met the unfortunate Emperor Alex- 
ander II., and, at the close of the interview, the 
emperor said : " Since the foundation of your gov- 
ernment, the relations between Russia and America 
have been of the friendliest character, and as long 
as I live nothing shall be spared to continue this 

" Although the two governments," replied the 
general, " are very opposite in their character, the 
great majority of the American people are in sym- 
pathy w T ith Russia, which good feeling I trust will 
long continue." 

A call was also received at St. Petersburg from 
the Grand Duke Alexis, who alluded with much 
pleasure to the reception he had received when in 
America. From St. Petersburg General Grant 
went to Moscow, and, passing through Poland, 


reached Vienna on the 18th of August. Here 
he had an audience with the Emperor Francis 
Joseph, and also met Count Andrassy, the Chan- 
cellor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

After remaining a few days at the Austrian capital, 
the party left for Munich, and passed through the 
south of France during the vintage season. From 
thence the general went to Spain, where he met 
King Alphonso, the Duke of Montpensier, and the 
distinguished republican orator, Emilio Castelar. 

Returning to England, the party then made a 
pleasant tour through Ireland, and on the 24th of 
January, 1878, set sail from Marseilles for India, 
on board the Labourdonnais. Bombay was reached 
on the 13th of February, and the Government 
House on Malabar Point was placed at the disposal 
of General Grant. From thence he went to Ala- 
habad, and his journey from that city to Agia was 
made upon elephants. All the Oriental splendors 
of the place were shown to the travellers by the 
maharajah, and at Delhi, Lucknow and Calcutta the 
native population, as well as the English residents, 
gave to General Grant a welcome of the most flat- 
tering nature. 

From Calcutta the party left for Burmah on 
board the Simla, and, passing through the Straits 
of Malacca, came to Singapore. Here the general 
received an urgent invitation from the King of 
Siani to occupy Suranrom, one of the beautiful 


palaces at Bangkok, and nearly a week was spent 
in visiting the various temples of this interesting 
and curious city. While here General Grant paid 
his respects to the king at his own palace, and on 
the next day the king returned the visit by coming 
in state to the palace of Suranrom, which is re- 
garded in Siani as the highest honor the king can 
bestow. A dinner was given the next day to the 
guests, at the king's own palace, and to the ad- 
dress of welcome General Grant replied : — 

Your Majesty, Ladies and Gentlemen : I am very 
much obliged to your majesty for the kind and compli- 
mentary manner in which you have welcomed me to Siam. 
I am glad that it has been my good fortune to visit this 
country and to thank your majesty in person for your letters 
inviting me to Siam, and to see with my own eyes your 
country and your people. 

I feel that it would have been a misfortune if the pro- 
gramme of my journey had not included Siam. I have now 
been absent from home nearly two years, and during that 
time I have seen every capital and nearly every large city 
in Europe, as well as the principal cities in India, Burmah 
and the Malay Peninsula. I have seen nothing that has 
interested me more than Siam, and every hour of my visit 
here has been agreeable and instructive. 

For the welcome I have received from your majesty, the 
princes, and members of the Siamese Government, and the 
people generally, I am very grateful. I accept it not as per- 
sonal to myself alone, but as a niark of the friendship felt 
for my country by your majesty and the people of Siam. I 
am glad to see that feeling, because I believe that the best 
interests of the two countries can be benefited by nothing 
so much as the establishment of the most cordial relations 
between them. 


On my return to America I shall do what I can to ce- 
ment these relations. I hope that in America we shall see 
more of the Siamese, that we shall have embassies and 
diplomatic relations, that our commerce and manufactures 
will increase with Siam, and that your young men will 
visit our country and attend our colleges as they now go to 
colleges in Germany and England. I can assure them all 
a kind reception, and I feel that the visits would be inter- 
esting and advantageous. 

I again thank your majesty for the splendid hospitality 
which has been shown to myself and my party, and I trust 
that your reign will be happy and prosperous, and that 
Siam will continue to advance in the arts of civilization. 

I hope you will allow me to ask you to drink to the 
health of his majesty the King of Siam. I am honored by 
the opportunity of proposing that toast in his own capital, 
in his own palace, and of saying how much I have been 
impressed with his enlightened rule. I now ask you to 
drink the health of his majesty the king, and prosperity and 
peace to the people of Siam. 

Leaving Singapore on the 23d of April, the 
party started four days later, in the steamer 
Irrawaddy, for Hong Kong, China. The first per- 
son to greet General Grant at this city was the 
guerrilla chief, Colonel John S. Mosby, who 
during the war had stoutly upheld the Confederate 
cause, but was now enjoying the position of 
American Consul at this port. The two men, 
however, shook hands as cordially as if they had 
never been enemies — the past, for the time being, 
was both forgiven and forgotten. Having re- 
ceived marked honors from both the English 


officials and the native population, General Grant 
left Hong Kong for Canton. He was now beyond 
British rule in China, and the Emperor had given 
orders to receive the illustrious guest with honors 
due to his rank. The viceroy of the province had 
issued proclamations to the people, of which the 
following is a translation : — 


We have just heard that the King of America, being on 
friendly terms with China, will leave America early in the 
third month, bringing with him a suite of officers, etc., all 
complete, onboard the ship. It is said that he is bringing a 
large number of rare presents with him, and that he will 
be here in Canton about the 6th or 9th of May. 

He will land at the Fintay Ferry, and will proceed to 
the viceroy's palace by way of the South Gate, the Fantai's 
Ugamun and the Waning Street. Viceroy Kun has ar- 
ranged that all the mandarins shall be there to meet him, 
and a full court will be held. 

After a little friendly conversation, he will leave the vice- 
roy's palace and visit the various objects of interest within 
and without the walls. He will then proceed to the Roman 
Catholic Cathedral, to converse and pass the night. It is 
not stated what will then take place, but notice will be 

The reception indicated by the viceroy in this 
proclamation took place on the day after the 
general's arrival. The party were carried in 
sedan chairs to the palace, where the viceroy was 
seen standing at the door. After welcoming them 
in true Oriental fashion, the viceroy showed them 
all the wonders and beauties of his home, and 


offered them a cup of tea. From Canton the party 
sailed for the Portuguese settlement of Macao, 
where they visited the famous grotto of Camoens. 
Returning to Hong Kong, they embarked on board 
the government vessel Ashuelot for a cruise 
along the coast of China. At Siraton, Amoy, and 
Tientsin, the general was received with great 
honor, and little Prince Kung (who was then only 
seven years old, but regent and uncle of the em- 
peror) welcomed him in person at Pekin. 

As the Ashuelot w r as to remain in Chinese 
waters, the party was transferred to the United 
States man-of-war Richmond, and early in June 
they landed in Japan, at the town of Nagasaki, 
where they were received by Prince Dati, Mr. 
Yoshida (who was the Japanese minister to our 
country during Grant's administration), and the 
o-overnor. While here the general was informed 
that the town intended to erect a monument in 
the park, commemorating his visit, and would like 
him to write an inscription that would be engraved 
upon the stone in English and Japanese charac- 
ters. In compliance with this request, he wrote 

the following : — 

Nagasaki, Japan, June 22, 1879. 
At the request of the governor, Utsurni Togatsu, Mrs. 
Grant and I have each planted a tree in the Nagasaki Park. 
I hope that hoth trees may prosper, grow large, live long, 
and in their growth, prosperity and long life be emblematic 
of the future of Japan. U. S. Grant. 


After a brief visit at Hiogo, the party proceeded 
to Yokohama, and from thence to Tokio, the cap- 
ital of Japan. Here the general was escorted to 
the emperor's summer palace, Euriokam, and on 
the afternoon of the 4th of July he had an inter- 
view with the mikado. 

In reply to an address from one of his highness' 
ministers, General Grant said : — 

Your Majesty, — I am very grateful for the welcome 
you accord me here to-day, and for the great kindness with 
which I have been received ever since I came to Japan, 
by your government and your people. I recognize in this 
a feeling of friendship towards my country. I can assure 
you that this feeling is reciprocated by the United States ; 
that our people, without regard to party, take the deepest 
interest in all that concerns Japan, and have the warmest 
wishes for her welfare. I am happy to be able to express 
that sentiment. America is your next neighbor, and will 
always give Japan sympathy and support in her efforts to 
advance. I again thank your majesty for your hospitality, 
and wish you a long and happy reign, and for your people 
prosjierity and independence. 

The national holiday was celebrated by the 
American residents at Tokio, by a magnificent 
display of fireworks and illuminations in one of 
the summer gardens. On the 7th of July, the 
Japanese troops were reviewed by General Grant. 
The armament and equipment of the native soldiers 
were modelled after the best European and Ameri- 
can patterns, and great surprise and admiration 
were expressed by the general for the marvellous 


advance already made by Japan in military 
tactics. After the review, the whole party were 
entertained by the mikado, at the Shila palace. 

On taking leave of the mikado, some weeks 
later, General Grant said : — 

Your Majesty, — I come to take my leave, and to 
thank yon, the officers of your government, and the people 
of Japan, for the great hospitality and kindness I have 
received at the hands of all during my most pleasant visit 
to this country. I have now been two months in Tokio and 
the surrounding neighborhood, and two previous weeks in 
the more southerly part of the country. 

It affords me great satisfaction to say that during all 
this stay and all my visiting I have not witnessed one dis- 
courtesy to myself, nor a single unpleasant sight. Every- 
where there seems to be the greatest contentment among 
the people, and, while no signs of great industrial wealth 
exist, no absolute poverty is visible. This is in striking 
and pleasing contrast with almost every country I have 

I leave Japan greatly impressed with the possibilities 
and probabilities of her future. She has a fertile soil, one 
half of it not yet cultivated to man's use; great unde- 
veloped mineral resources, numerous and fine harbors, an 
extensive seacoast, the surrounding waters abounding in 
fish of an almost endless variety, and, above all, an industri- 
ous, ingenious, contented, and frugal population. 

With all these, nothing is wanted to insure great pro- 
gress, except wise direction by the government, peace at 
home and abroad, non-interference in the internal and 
domestic affairs of the country by outside nations. It is the 
sincere desire of your guests to see Japan realize all possible 
strength and greatness, to see her as independent of foreign 
rule or dictation as any western nation now is, and to see 


affairs so directed by her as to command the respect of the 
civilized world. 

In saying this, I believe I reflect the sentiments of the 
groat majority of my countrymen. I now take my leave, 
without expectation of ever again having the opportunity 
of visiting Japan, but with the assurance that pleasant 
recollections of my present visit will not vanish while my 
life lasts. That your majesty may long reign over a pros- 
perous and contented people, and enjoy every blessing, is 
my sincere prayer. 

To this the mikado replied : — 

Your visit has given us so much satisfaction and pleas- 
ure that we can only lament that the time for your departure 
has come. We regret also that the heat of the season lias 
prevented several of your proposed visits to different places. 
In the meantime, however, we have greatly enjoyed the 
pleasure of frequent interviews with you, and the cordial 
expressions which you have just addressed to us in taking 
your leave have given us a great additional satisfaction. 

America and Japan, being near neighbors, separated 
by an ocean only, will become more and more closely con- 
nected with each other as time goes on. It is gratifying to 
feel assured that your visit to our empire, which enabled us 
to form very pleasant personal acquaintance with each other, 
will facilitate and strengthen the friendly relations that have 
heretofore happily existed between the two countries. 

And now we cordially wish you a safe and pleasant voy- 
age home, and that you will on your return find your nation 
in peace and prosperity, and that you and your family may 
enjoy long life and happiness. 

On the 2d of September, General Grant and 
his party started lor home in the Pacific mail 
steamer City of Tokio. The voyage was made in 


eighteen days, and impatient crowds covered the 
hilltops of San Francisco, as the vessel glided 
into the harbor. An enthusiastic reception was 
given to him by the citizens, and the bands played 
" Home Again," as General Grant stepped once 
more upon American soil. 




rpHE reception of General Grant in California, 
- 1 - and on the whole Pacific coast, was some- 
thing phenomenal in the history of the American 
people. In the latter part of October he left for 
the East, by way of Virginia City, and reached 
Chicago on the 12th of November, where a recep- 
tion was held by the Army of the Tennessee, at 
the Palmer House. At this banquet, Generals 
Sherman, Sheridan and Gresham, Governor Cul- 
lom and many other warm personal friends of 
Grant were present. The general's speech upon 
this occasion was one of the longest and most bril- 
liant he ever made. It was as follows : — 

After an absence of several years from the gatherings of 
the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, it affords me 
heartfelt pleasure to be again with you — my earliest com- 
rades in arms in the great conflict for the nationality and 
union of all the States under one free and always to be 
maintained government. In my long absence from the 
country, I have had a most favorable opportunity for com- 
paring in my own mind our institutions with those of all 
European countries, and most of those of Asia; comparing 
our resources, developed and dormant, the capacity and en- 


ergy of our people for upholding the government and 
developing its resources, with most of the civilized peoples 
of the world. 

Everywhere, from England to Japan, from Russia to 
Spain and Portugal, we are understood, our resources 
highly appreciated, and the skill, energy and intelligence 
of the citizens recognized. My receptions have been your 
receptions. They have been everywhere kind, and an ac- 
knowledgment that the United States is a nation, a strong, 
independent and free nation, composed of strong, brave and 
intelligent people capable of judging of their rights, and 
ready to maintain them at all hazards. 

This is a non-partisan association, but composed of men 
who are united in a determination that no foe, domestic or 
foreign, shall interfere between us and the maintenance of 
our grand, free and enlightened institutions and the unity 
of all the states. The area of our country, its fertility, the 
energy and resources of our population compared to the 
area, postpone the day, for generations to come, when our 
descendants will have to consider the question of how the 
soil is to support them, how the most can be produced to 
support human life, without reference to the tastes or de- 
sires of the people, and when but few can exercise the 
privilege of the plain luxury of selecting the articles of 
food they will eat, and the quantity and quality of clothing 
they wear. But it will remain the abundant home of all 
who possess energy and strength, and make good use of 

Such a country is one to be proud of. I am proud of it, 
proud that I am an American citizen. Every citizen — 
North, South, East and West — enjoys a common heritage, 
and should feel an equal pride. I am glad these society 
meetings keep up so long after the events which in a sense 
they commemorate have passed away. 

They do not serve to keep up sectional feeling or bitter- 
ness towards our late foe, but they do keep up the feeling 


that we are a nation and that it must be preserved, one and 
indivisible. We feel and maintain that those who fought, 
and fought bravely, on the opposite side from us have equal 
claim with ourselves in all the blessings of our great and 
common country. 

We claim for them the right to travel all over this broad 
land and select where they please to settle, become- citizens 
and enjoy their political and religious convictions free from 
molestation or ostracism, either on account of them or con- 
nection with the past. We ask nothing more for ourselves, 
and would rejoice to see them become powerful rivals in 
the development of our great resources, in the acquisition 
of all that should be desirable in this life, and in patriotism 
and in love of country. 

His journey to Philadelphia was a continued 
series of ovations. On the third day of his stay 
in the latter city, an imposing reception was given 
him by the Grand Army of the Kepublic, at the 
Academy of Music. On the rear of the stage was 
a mimic forest with a camp scene, and at the right 
was a fac-simile of General Grant's headquarters 
at City Point. Fifty comrades, each carrying a 
tattered battle-flag, escorted the general to the 
Academy ; and in response to the address of wel- 
come, he said : — 

Governor Hoyt and Comrades of the Grand Army 
of the Republic, — It is a matter of very deep regret with 
me that I did not pi-ovide something to say to you respect- 
ing the welcome I received at your hands this evening, but 
really since I arrived here I have not had time, and before 
that I had not given it a thought. I can say to you all that 
during the two years and seven months since I left your 


city to circuit the globe, I have visited every capital in 
Europe and most of the Eastern nations. 

There has not been a country that I visited in that cir- 
cuit where I did not find some of our numbers. In crossing 
our own land, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, scarcely a 
settlement, scarcely a cattle-ranch, scarcely a collection of 
pioneers did I see that was not composed almost entirely 
of veterans of the late war. It called to my mind the fact 
that while wars are to be deplored, and unjust wars are 
always to be avoided, they are not always attended with 
unmixed evil. 

The boy who is brought up in his country home, or in 
his city home, without any exciting cause to quicken his 
wits, is apt to remain there, following the pursuits of his 
parents, and never getting beyond them, in many cases 
never getting up to them. But when carried away by a 
great struggle in which so much principle is involved, as 
was the case in our late conflict, it brings to him a wider 
view than that of his home, and though his affections be- 
long to the home which he has left behind him, he finds 
only disappointment on his return, and strikes out for new 
fields, and develops and prepares new domains for us and 
for thousands who will follow us. 

Our ex-soldiers are not only becoming the pioneers of 
this land, but they are extending its commerce and the 
knowledge of their country in other lands ; and when a 
brighter day shall dawn for those countries in the East, 
America will step in and share in their commerce. And all 
this is being brought about by the exertions of the veteran 
soldiers, I might say of the veterans of the Grand Army of 
the Republic. 

Comrades, having been compelled as often as I have 
since my arrival in San Francisco to utter a few words, not 
only to ex-soldiers, but to other classes, always speaking 
without preparation, I was of necessity forced to repeat, 
not the same words, perhaps, but the same ideas. What I 


want to impress upon j T ou is, that yon have a country to be 
proud of, a country to fight for, and a country to die for if 
need be. 

While many of the countries in Europe give practical 
protection and freedom to their citizens, yet no European 
country compares in the liberty which it affords to particu- 
lar individuals with our own. In no country is the young 
and energetic man given such a chance by industry and 
frugality to acquire a competence for himself and his family 
as in America. Abroad it is often difficult for the poor man 
to make his way at all. All that is necessary is to know 
this in order that we may become better citizens. 

Comrades, I thank you for your welcome, and regret that 
I am not better prepared to say what I would like to say. 

During the j^ear 1880, General Grant made a 
tour through the Southern States, which did much 
to conciliate that part of the country, and cement 
the growing union between the North and South. 
His journey the following year to Cuba and Mexi- 
co was also helpful in bringing about certain com- 
mercial treaties advantageous to our country. 

" My first personal acquaintance with General 
Grant," said Mr. Thomas J. Gargan, " was in the 
spring of 1881. I left New Orleans for Mexico 
April 1, 1881, on the steamer Whitney. General 
Grant, Mr. Romero, Mexican minister, Senator 
Chaffee, General Grant's son and Mrs. Grant came 
on board at Galveston as passengers. I had a 
letter of introduction to the general, but before I 
presented it I was introduced by a mutual friend. 
We arrived at Vera Cruz Wednesday, April 6, 


and General Grant very kindly invited my wife 
and myself to take seats in a special train, which 
had been provided for himself and his party. We 
stopped at Orizaba over night, and the next day 
arrived in the City of Mexico. At the Hotel 
Iturbide in the city we had adjoining rooms, and 
I saw much of the general from that time until 
the first of the following June. As there were 
not many English-speaking people at the hotel, I 
met him almost every day at the restaurant where 
we had our meals, and we often chatted together 
after breakfast. Some days he would be very 
silent and smoke his cigar, though always polite 
and affable if spoken to. At other times he would 
be very communicative. 

" One morning in the early part of May, 1881, 
we were sitting in the courtyard of the hotel, 
when he suggested a drive to Chapultepec. We 
drove out until we came to the battlefield of 
Molino del Key (King's Mill), when he stopped 
the driver and we got out of the carriage. We 
went over the battlefield, and he pointed out to 
me the spot where he was wounded when a young 
lieutenant, and he gave me some very interesting 
reminiscences of the day's fight, and told me how 
proud he felt, as a young man, of the brevet he 
received for his conduct in that battle. 

"A few mornings afterward, we were smoking 
after breakfast, and the general was in a more than 


usually communicative mood. He talked at length 
of incidents of the late war. He spoke of Stan- 
ton and General Hal leek. He said that when the 
war broke out he did not think at first of applying 
for a commission as colonel, and when otfered the 
command of a regiment he hesitated about accept- 
ing, but when he saw some of the men already in 
command of regiments he thought that if those 
fellows could command a regiment he could, and 
said he considered Halleck the greater man of the 
two, intellectually. He said his first memory of 
Halleck was that Halleck was just graduating from 
West Point, in the engineer corps, when he entered, 
a raw country boy from the West, having made 
the journey from his father's house on horseback 
to the Ohio River, and by steamboat up the Ohio 
as far as navigation permitted, and by stage to 
Baltimore, and thence by water to New York. 
He said he envied Halleck as he pictured him 
already an officer in the United States army. 

" f In the Mexican war,' said General Grant, f I 
became a captain before Halleck. Halleck was in 
the engineer corps, however, and I was in the in- 
fantry. But yet I was his senior in rank in the regu- 
lar army. I always had a great respect for Halleck's 
intellectual abilities. But he lacked the qualifica- 
tions necessary to command men or to handle an 
army in the field. When Halleck was assigned 
by the War Department to the command of the 


Western army, superseding Fremont, I was very 
much pleased, as was every West Point man, as 
we had no confidence in General Fremont as a 
military commander. When Hal leek arrived in 
St. Louis and assumed command, I telegraphed 
for permission to call and pay my respects, and 
received the curt reply : " Remain where you 
are." My next attempt to have communication 
with Halleck was in relation to the advance on 
Forts Henry and Donelson. Halleck warned me 
that if I came to St Louis to see him and had no 
business with the commanding general of the de- 
partment, I would be severely dealt with. I did 
not consider the reply very encouraging, but yet 
felt it to be my duty to go to see Halleck. On 
arriving at his headquarters in St. Louis, I found 
him in a large room, with only the desk and chair 
occupied by himself. No other article of furniture 
was in the room. He never rose to receive me, 
although I wus second in command, but said se- 
verely : — 

r ' You see I have but one chair here. This 
office is for business. Communicate what you 
have to say quickly." He treated me as if I were 
an orderly, dismissed me curtly, entirely disap- 
proving of my plan of action, and informed me 
that I must be out of St. Louis that night before 
six o'clock. I returned to my command very much 
discomfited, and it was only through Commodore 


Foote, commanding our gunboats, that I received 
a courteous reply to a telegram in which I again 
urged the importance of advancing on Fort Don- 
elson. Halleck declined to allow me to advance 
at that time, but about a month afterwards I re- 
ceived a sealed packet from Halleck, containing 
instructions, as though the idea had been original 
with himself, advising me to move cautiously and 
intrench myself; but before Halleck was aware of 
it, I had captured Forts Henry and Donelson, and 
opened the way to Nashville, Tenn. I telegraphed 
Halleck that the way was open, and, if I heard 
nothing to the contrary, I should run up to Nash- 
ville and take a look at the situation.' 

" ' To this despatch Halleck replied refusing 
me permission. That despatch I never received.' 

It seemed that the telegraph operator, while 
pretending to be friendly to the Union, was in full 
sympathy with the Confederate cause, and while 
Grant's despatches to Halleck were duly for- 
warded, Ilalleck's replies to Grant were never 

"Continuing, General Grant said: f On my re- 
turn from Nashville, I was surprised to receive a 
note from Halleck ordering me under arrest for 
disobedience of orders. I asked for an investiga- 
tion, which was granted. I was fully exonerated, 
but I sent a request to be relieved from further 
service under Halleck.' 


" The talk at this point was interrupted by a 
gentleman who had a special appointment for that 
hour with General Grant. 

"A few days later, after luncheon, General 
Grant spoke of the different generals commanding 
under him. He talked of Sherman for a long 
time ; spoke of his great ability and his reliability, 
and of his bluntness of speech. I then asked him 
about Genera] Sheridan, and I spoke of him as a 
brilliant, dashing executive officer. Grant removed 
his cigar for a moment, and said, with great ear- 
nestness : — 

'That is where } T ou, in common with a great 
many other men, make a mistake about General 
Sheridan. He is much more than a brilliant ex- 
ecutive officer ; he is a great general, and when he 
assumes command of the army the country will 
appreciate his great ability. He has great reserve 
power, and the country owes much to him for 
the success of the movement on Eichmond, and 
especially the battle of Five Forks, where his fer- 
tile mind saw the emergency, dismounted his cav- 
alry and utilized them as infantry. I leaned more 
on Sheridan than on any other man in the army. 
I repeat, he is much more than an executive officer ; 
he is a scientific fighter and a great strategist.' 

"After a few moments' silence, he said: 'It 
is strange what slight circumstances change a 
man's whole career. I have no doubt that many 


commanders during the war have been most un- 
justly dealt with. I have now in mind General 
Fitz John Porter,' he said. ' The country will yet 
do General Porter justice. I mean to do all in my 
power to see him vindicated.' 

" We then went into the fonda, or restaurant, 
had a cup of coffee, and General Grant, much to 
my surprise, talked for some time about books and 
authors ; he spoke of Buhver Lytton and his style ; 
of Prescott and Washington Irving, expressing his 
admiration for Washington Irving, but criticising 
Prescott at much length, as not being accurate 
in his descriptions in his works on Cortez and 
Mexico. He said he admired his style ; the story 
was fascinating, but he thought it was more of a 
romance than a truthful history. 

"General Grant, while in Mexico, was an early 
riser, affable, and courteous to all whom lie met, 
approachable by the humblest person, and none 
could be long in his company without feeling that 
he Mas an extraordinary man." 

Says a certain English writer : ft The four great- 
est generals produced by the great civil war, on 
the national side, were Grant, McPherson, Sher- 
man and Sheridan. One of the most pleasant 
memories of American history is, and will forever 
be, the fact that between these great commanders 
there was never the shadow of jealousy or envy. 
It is the highest honor that Grant ever received 


from men's judgment or admiration that these 
three able captains all willingly always looked up 
to him as their superior officer. McPherson fell 
in battle, before the splendor of his abilities could 
attract the world's attention, but in his death 
(J rant, as he declared, lost one of the greatest — 
perhaps, the very greatest — of his lieutenants. 
Sheridan, as in right of his Irish blood, had the 
fiercest spirit in battle ; Sherman the greatest in- 
vention in council ; while McPherson could fight 
with the one and plan with the other, but they all 
admitted, because they knew and felt it, that ' the 
silent gray-eyed man ' was greater than they. 

"'Why,' I asked General Sherman once, 'did 
you and Sheridan always acknowledge Grant to be 
your leader?' 'Because,' he responded, in his 
quick, idiomatic manner, 'while I could map out a 
dozen plans for a campaign, every one of which 
Sheridan would swear he could fight out to vic- 
tory, neither he nor I could tell which of the plans 
was the best one ; but Grant, who simply sat and 
listened and smoked while we had been talking- 
over the maps, would at the end of our talking 
tell us which was the best plan, and in a dozen br 
two words the reason of his decision, and then it 
would all be so clear to us that he was right, that 
Sheridan and I would look at each other and won- 
der why we had n't seen the advantage of it our- 


'I Icll you,' he continued, after a moment's 
pause, 'Grant is not appreciated yet. The mili- 
tary critics of Europe are too ignorant of American 
geography to appreciate the conditions of his cam- 
paigns. What is it to march an army from 
Berlin to Paris? Look at the shortness of the 
distance. Look at the multitude of roads. Look 
at the facilities of transportation. Consider how- 
many times the same ground has been fought over 
by successive commanders. Is not every point of 
vantage known? What commander can blunder 
where all the conditions lie open to his eye? But 
I have seen Grant plan campaigns for half a million 
of troops, along a front line twenty-five hundred 
miles in length, and send them marching to their 
objective points, through sections where the sur- 
veyor's chain was never drawn, and where the 
commissariat necessities alone would have broken 
down any transportation system of Europe ; and 
three months later I have seen those armies 
standing where he said they should be, and 
what he planned accomplished ; and 1 give it as 
my military opinion that General Grant is the 
greatest commander of modern times, and with 
him only three others can stand — Napoleon, Wel- 
lington and Moltkc.'" 

At the National Republican Convention held at 
Chicago in June, 1880, 306 of the delegates cast 
their votes for Grant, and even when the decisive 


ballot was drawn, and General Garfield nominated, 
they still exclaimed : " The old guard dies, but 
never surrenders." 

A third term in the presidential chair was de- 
clared by Washington to be inimical to the best 
interests of the Republic, and it is doubtful if 
Grant would have accepted the nomination, even 
if the honor had been thrust upon him. 

On the 17th of January, 1881, General Grant 
visited Albany, and received here an enthusiastic 
ovation, as in fact he did everywhere he went. 
He was the guest of Governor Cornell while here, 
and also received at the Fort Orange Club. What 
surprised those most who then met him for the 
first time Avas his unpretentious, natural modesty. 
Some men are so aggressive in the assumption 
of a modest demeanor as to produce a disagree- 
able impression. General Grant was just simple 
and natural. A party of gentlemen had been in- 
troduced to the general, and were enjoying a quiet 
smoke in one of the rooms of the Fort Orange Club. 
Several spoke in a delicate way of the wonderful 
demonstrations which had greeted the general 
during his tour abroad, and of how proud all felt 
that such honors had been paid to an American. 
Nothing could have exceeded the good taste with 
which General Grant received these flattering allu- 
sions. Some one happened to mention the fact that 
he knew intimately Professor P., a classmate of 


Grant's at West Point. The general's face lighted 
up with a pleasant smile of reminiscence. ' Yes," 
said he, "there is P. I remember him well. lie 
always knew a groat deal more than I did, and was 
an abler man. It just illustrates how circumstances 
alter the prospects of men. Now there is P., who 
Mas really more deserving of great success than I 
was, and yet I suppose there are a thousand men 
who know who I am to one who knows him. Yes, 
he was a splendid fellow, and, after all, he is lucky 
to have won real success without all the bother be- 
longing to what the world calls greatness." 

A trait of General Grant's character mentioned 
by Mr. Dana in his personal description of the 
man deserves peculiar emphasis — we refer to the 
purity of his conversation. An intimate friend of 
his has said that Grant never uttered a word he 
would have wished his wife not to hear, and old 
comrades in the war will testify that he had no 
tolerance for questionable stories, but has often in- 
terfered to stop their telling, when it took as much 
courage to do so as it would to fight a battle. 

On his return from Mexico, General Grant 
made New York city his permanent residence. A 
brownstone mansion on Sixty-sixth Street, near 
Fifth Avenue, was purchased by his friends and 
presented to his wife. It was valued at $100,000, 
but there was a mortgage on it of $00,000. The 
full amount was raised, and $40,000 paid down on 


the delivery of the deed, while the remainder was 
placed to Mrs. Grant's credit in the bank. Re- 
peated efforts were made to raise the encum- 
brance, but as it had a long term of years to run, 
the holder of the mortgage would not discharge it. 
When the firm of Grant & Ward was started, 
Mrs. Grant transferred her account to the house, 
and with it the $60,000 to pay off" the mortgage. 

Senator Logan, of Illinois, introduced a bill in 
the Senate, on January 11, 1881, to place General 
Grant on the retired list, with the rank and full 
pay of a general of the army. For certain polit- 
ical reasons, however, the bill did not pass at that 
session, and personal friends of the general volun- 
tarily raised a fund of $250,000, the interest of 
which, amounting to $15,000 per annum, he was 
to have during his life ; the capital he could dis- 
pose of by will. 




FN the summer of 1880, the sons of General 
-^ Grunt became partners of Mr. Ferdinand Ward 
in the hanking and brokerage business. Mr. 
James D. Fish, of the Marine National Bank, also 
became a partner, and shortly after General 
Grant himself became a member of the firm. 
Having little experience in financial affairs, the 
genera] and his sons trusted too much to the honor 
and integrity of Fish and Ward. 

It now appears that the two latter carried on a 
number of dishonest speculations without the 
knowledge of the other members of the linn, and 
appropriated for this purpose the money and 
credit of the firm, and also of the Marine National 
Bank. $14,000,000 was swept away in the crash 
of May 6, 1884, and with it the whole of Grant's 
fortune. A few days previous, the general 
had borrowed $ 150,000 of Mr. Vanderbilt, and he 
now insisted that a levy should be placed on his 
personal property, including the valuable gifts re- 
ceived during his tour around the world, and also 
the medal- presented to him. To satisfy General 


Grant, Mr. Vanderbilt did this, and then offered to 
present them to Mrs. Grant. The general, how- 
ever, would not allow his wife to receive them, but 
a compromise was afterwards made, by which she 
was to remain in possession of them until her 
husband's death, when they were to be presented 
to the nation, and preserved in the Smithsonian 
Institute, at Washington. 

One of the last official acts of President Arthur 
was to sign the bill that retired General Grant 
with the rank and pay of general for life. In 
signing it, Mr. Arthur remarked that never since 
he had become President had it given him greater 
pleasure to affix his sign-manual to any act than 
to this bill. 

A slight throat trouble, which had attacked Gen- 
eral Grant from time to time, now besran to 
assume a serious phase. On the last day of Feb- 
ruary, 1885, a microscopic examination revealed 
the presence of ulceration in the soft tissues of the 
roof of the mouth, and induration of the base of 
the tongue. On the 29th of March a crisis occur- 
red, and it was believed that the end was at hand. 
He rallied, however, bearing his sufferings with 
great fortitude, and during April and May he en- 
countered all the ups and downs of the steadily 
progressing disease, now pronounced to be cancer. 
During all this time, when his sickness would 
allow, General Grant was preparing the memoirs 


of his life, hoping that the sale of the volumes 
would bring a competence to his family. The ar- 
rival of his daughter Nellie (Mrs. Sartoris) from 
England, at this time, was a source of great pleas- 
ure to the general, but early in June the attending 
physicians observed symptoms which caused them 
to recommend the removal of the patient to the 
clear air of Mt. MacGregor, some eleven miles 
from Saratoga. This mountain rises to the height 
of a thousand feet, and near the summit is a pretty 
Queen Anne cottage, surrounded by trees, which 
Mr. Drexel, the owner, offered to General Grant 
and his family for the summer months. This offer 
Avas accepted, and on the 16th of June the general 
was removed thither, standing the long journey 
by rail much better than was expected from his 
reduced condition. 

The cocaine which deadened the pain in the 
throat, seemed to increase the paralysis of the vocal 
organs, but during all these critical days the 
sufferer jotted down on his memoranda pathetic 
messages for his family. 

Upon the completion of his book, General Grant 
remarked that his work was done ; and days of 
depression were followed by others of extreme 
restlessness, when the sufferer desired fresh em- 
ployment for his busy brain. But the insatiable 
disease was slowly sapping the sick man's 


Of the life at Mt. MacGregor, a friend wrote as 
follows : " When the general was in his easy chair 
he liked to see his family and his friends about 
him, unless he felt very miserable. His daughter 
was his chief delight. He loved the music of her 
voice, and her caresses. Scarcely a day passed 
when they were not left for an hour or so to- 
gether, that she might read to him the news, and 
chat with him. At such times he lay back in his 
chair, with closed eyes, commenting occasionally 
on what she read, and enjoying every minute of 
her company. It was his usual custom of late to 
keep his eyes closed when sitting up, though there 
were whole days at times when he was as wide 
awake as a person in health. His desire for the 
company of his daughter was strong also during 
his hours of suffering. Pie seemed to want her 
always near him when the slightest danger threat- 
ened. She could comfort and cheer him more 
quickly than any one else. This devotion was fully 
reciprocated, for her thoughts were all with him, 
and often when he slept she glided into his room 
1<> see if anything could be done for him. 

"His sufferings were thus lightened by cheerful 
and loving companionship. Some one of the fam- 
ily was always with him. His little grandchildren 
opened the day for him with sweet greetings, and 
through the daylight hours Airs. Grant and the 
young people of the household were never far from 


him. At evening the entire family, and whoever 
else might be present, gathered for prayer and 
quiet and affectionate intercourse, and then, after 
the doctor's visit, the night-watch began, with the 
colonel and the general's body-servant as the regu- 
lar sick-room attendants. The general enjoyed 
these evenings. No su£rs;estion of o;loom ever 
marred them, although he knew that they would 
soon be impossible. 

"The devotion of Mrs. Grant was touching. 
As careful as any one not to tax him when he 
needed only rest, she was never beyond easy call, 
and had no thought, apparently, but for his com- 
fort. Her oreetino: was the first to cheer him in 
the morning, after the doctor's treatment. It was 
her chair that was drawn close to his on the porch. 
Whenever he wanted company she was part of it, 
and many hours in his last days were spent with 
her alone. Often they could be seen together 
when not a word was spoken, mere companion- 
ship satisfying them. Visitors seeing them thus 
were wont to remark that it was as though nothing 
so well suited them as that their last days should 
be as were their first, sufficient for each in the 
company of the other." 

" It is most fitting he should pass away 
As he is passing now, without a word — 
This nian of many battles, whom Dismay- 
Dismayed not, whose stout heart was seldom stirred. 


Master of his emotions — not too keen, 

Of simple, primitive tastes, his wants were few 

Believer only in things known and seen, 

Stubborn and blunt, begotten to subdue, 

Not his the blood in Sidney's veins which ran, 

Nor his who fell at Roncesvalles of old ; 

But there is something in this silent Man, 

Something heroic in his rugged mould. 

Of this our Soldier dying, Time will be 
A kinder, sterner, juster judge than we." 

On the second day of July, General Grant wrote, 
in the presence of Dr. Douglas, the following mes- 
sage : — 

I ask you not to show this to any one, unless to the phy- 
sicians j'ou consult with, until the end. Particularly, I 
want it kept from my family. If known to one man, the 
papers will get it, and they (the family) will get it. It 
would only distress them almost beyond endurance to know 
it, and, by reflex, would distress me. I have not changed 
my mind materially since I wrote you before in the same 
strain. Now, however, I know that I gain strength some 
days, but when I do go back it is beyond where I started to 
improve. I think the chances are very decidedly in favor 
of your being able to keep me alive until the change of 
weather towards winter. Of course, there are contingencies 
that might arise at any time that would carry me off very 
suddenly. The most probable of these is choking. Under 
the circumstances, life is not worth the living. I am very 
thankful [for thankful, glad was written, but scratched out, 
and thankful substituted] to have been spared thus long, 
because it has enabled me to practically complete the work 
in which I take so much interest. I cannot stir up strength 
enough to review it, and make additions and subtractions 
that would suggest themselves to me, and are not likely to 


su"'"-est themselves to any one else. Under the ahove cir- 
cuinstances, I shall be the happiest the most pain I can 
avoid. If there is to be an extraordinary cure, such as some 
people believe there; is to be, it will develop itself. I would 
say, therefore, to you and your colleagues, to make me as 
comfortable as you can. If it is within God's providence 
that I should go now, I am ready to obey his call without a 
murmur. I should prefer going now to enduring my present 
suffering, for a single day, without any hope of recovery. As 
I have stated, I am thankful for the providential extension 
of my time to enable me to continue my work. T am further 
thankful — and in a much greater degree thankful — be- 
cause it has enabled me to see for myself the happy harmony 
which so suddenly sprang up between those engaged but a 
few short years ago in deadly conflict. It has been an 
inestimable blessing to me to hear the kind expressions 
toward me in person from all parts of our country, from 
people of all nationalities, of all religions and of no religion, 
of Confederate and of national troops alike, of soldiers 1 or- 
ganizations, of mechanical, scientific, religious and other 
societies, embracing almost every citizen of the land. They 
have brought joy to my heart, if they have not effected a 
cure. So to you and your colleagues I acknowledge my 
indebtedness for having brought me through the valley of 
the shadow of death to enable me to witness these things. 

U. S. GllANT. 

To General Buckner he wrote : — 

I have witnessed since my sickness just what I have 
wished to see ever since the war — harmony and good 
feeling between the sections. I have always contended 
that if there had been nobody left but the soldiers we 
should have had peace in a year. We have some on our 
side who failed to accomplish as much as they wished, 
or who did not get warmed up to the fight until it was 
over, who have not quite full satisfaction. The great ma- 


jority, too, of those who did not go into the war have long 
since grown tired of the long controversy. We may now 
well look forward to a perpetual peace at home, and a 
national strength that will screen us against any foreign 
complication. I believe myself that the war was worth all 
it cost us, fearful as that was. 

The following characteristic and touching mes- 
sage to his wife is dated Mt. MacGregor, July 
9th, 1885. 

Look after our dear children and direct them in the 
paths of rectitude. It would distress me far more to think 
that one of them could depart from an honorable, upright, and 
virtuous life than it would to know they were prostrated on 
a bed of sickness from which they were never to rise alive. 
They have never given us any cause for alarm on their 
account, and I earnestly pray they never will. With these 
few injunctions, and the knowledge I have of your love and 
affection, I bid you a final farewell, until we meet in 
another and, I trust, a better world. You will find this on 
my person after my demise. 

On the 22d of July, the doctors became con- 
vinced that death was rapidly approaching. To his 
physicians the general expressed himself as feeling 
that he could endure his condition of weakness but 
a short time longer, and begged for hypodermic 
injections of morphine. Dr. Douglas, however, 
preferred that the patient should take food and 
stimulants, rather than opiates, and brandy was re- 
peatedly entered beneath the skin of the general's 
arm. This treatment doubtless prolonged his life 
a few hours, and eased his last moments. On the 


following day, the 23d of July, he passed away 
peacefully, and without evident pain, at about eight 
o'clock in the morning. 

The lowering of the flag on the White House 
was the first intimation that the citizens of Wash- 
ington had of the death of the distinguished man, 
although they had been anticipating it throughout 
the night. 

A few minutes after the White House flag was 
placed at half-mast, the flags on the public build- 
ings and on many private ones were placed in like 
position. The bells of the city were tolled, and 
citizens who heard them readily recognized their 
meaning. Business men immediately began dra- 
ping their houses with mourning, and residents 
showed in a similar manner their esteem for the 

While the bells tolled, President Cleveland sent 
the following despatch to Mrs. Grant at Mount 
MacGregor : — 

Accept this expression of my heartfelt sympathy in tills 
hour of your great affliction. The people of the nation 
mourn with you, and would reach, if they could, with kindly 
comfort, the depths of the sorrow which is yours alone, and 
which only the pity of God can heal. 

The following proclamation was issued by the 
President : — 

The President of the United States has just received the 
sad tidings of the death of that illustrious citizen and ex- 


President of the United States. General Ulysses S. Grant, 
at Mount MaeGregor, in the State of New York, to which 
place he had latterly been removed in the endeavor to pro- 
long his life. In making this announcement to the people 
of the United States, the President is impressed with the 
magnitude of the public loss of a great military leader, who 
was in the hour of victory magnanimous; amid disaster, 
serene and self-sustained ; who in every station, whether as a 
soldier or as a chief magistrate twice called to power by his 
fellow-countrymen, trod unswervingly the pathway of duty, 
undeterred by doubts, single-minded and straight- for ward. 

The entire country has witnessed with deep emotion his 
prolonged and patient struggle with painful disease, and 
watched by his couch of suffering with tearful sympathy. 
The destined end has come" at last, and his spirit has re- 
turned to the Creator who sent it forth. The great heart 
of the nation that followed him when living Avith love and 
pride, bows now in sorrow above him dead, tenderly mind- 
ful of his virtues, his great patriotic services, and of the 
loss occasioned by his death. 

In testimony of respect to the memory of General Grant, 
it is ordered that the Executive Mansion and the several 
departments at Washington be draped in mourning for a 
period of thirty days, and that all public business shall on 
the clay of the funeral be suspended ; and the Secretaries of 
War and the Navy will cause orders to be issued for appro- 
priate military and naval honors to be rendered on that day. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and 
caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-third day of 
July, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty-five, 
and of the Independence of the United States the one hun- 
dred and tenth. 

Grover Cleveland. 

By the President, 

T. F, Bayard, Secretary of State. 


The whole country mourned for the great sol- 
dier as for a dear and personal friend. The 
North and the South vied with one another in ex- 
pressions of sorrow, and all party feeling was for- 
gotten in the universal grief. 

"Few men," wrote a southern journal, "have 
suffered as General Grant did. The peculiarity 
of his affliction, its slowly wasting features, and its 
long duration, excited for the sufferer the pity of 
the nation. And in the South the animosity born 
of the war, and fanned by his later subservience to 
political opinions and practices adverse to Southern 
sentiment, was obliterated by the flood-tide of 
sympathy which went forth to him in his late trials 
on earth. The bitterest partisan forgot his spleen, 
and added his sympathy to that of other Southern 
hearts. He made as great a struggle for life as he 
ever made for victory on the battlefield, and it is 
remarkable that his affliction, emaciating and 
weakening as it was, failed to prostrate him. His 
great intellect was clear and bright even in the 
closing hours of a career as brilliant and illustrious 
as that of an}' other American. With his death 
there passed away one of the greatest captains of 
modern times, — not as great a general as either 
Lee or Jackson, but yet a great soldier. Military 
critics may differ as to his character and rank as a 
military commander ; but, in the face of his achieve- 
ments, any attempt to belittle his military capacity 


is idle. Judged by this standard, be held a place 
in the hearts of the people of the North which was 
equalled by none except Lincoln. He won the 
admiration of the North by his record as a leader 
of the Federal army against the South, and because 
of this the North regards his undying name as the 
proudest chapter in American history. But the 
South also admired him and appreciated his worth, 
both as a man and a soldier. No better evidence 
of this is needed than is shown by the action of 
the General Assembly of this State upon the re- 
ceipt of the intelligence of his death this morning. 
He had consideration for the South, and he has 
shown it on occasions when it was needed and 
most appreciated." 

Ex-Governor Bullock said : " General Grant was 
the great central figure in American history since 
Washington. He was a man of unquestioned prin- 
ciple, and the South grieves over his death." 

Judge Hopkins, a prominent Georgian, said : 
" General Grant was pre-eminently a man of iron 
will and strong sagacity, and will live in history 
with Washington." 

Benjamin H. Hill, son of ex-Senator Ben Hill, 
said: "I regard General Grant as a great man. 
His Ions: sickness has toned down all Southern an- 
imosity, and this entire section mourns his loss 
with America and the world." 

General Longstreet characterized General Grant 


as the noblest man that ever lived, and recalled 
the following reminiscences : — 

"Ever since 1839," said he, "I have been on 
terms of the closest intimacy with Grant. I well 
remember the fragile form which answered to his 
name in that year. His distinguishing trait as a 
cadet was a girlish modesty ; a hesitancy in pre- 
senting his own claims ; a taciturnity born of his 
modesty ; but a thoroughness in the accomplish- 
ment of whatever task was assigned him. As I was 
of large and robust physique, I was at the head of 
most larks and srames. But in these young Grant 
never joined, because of his delicate frame. In 
horsemanship, however, he was noted as the most 
proficient in the academy. In fact, rider and 
horse held together like the fabled Centaur. In 
1842 I was attached to the Fourth Infantry, as sec- 
ond lieutenant. A year later Grant joined the same 
regiment, stationed in that year at Fort Jefferson, 
12 miles from St. Louis. The ties thus formed have 
never been broken ; but there was a charm which 
held us together of which the world has never 
heard. My kinsman, Mr. Frederick Dent, was a 
substantial farmer living near Fort Jefferson. He 
had a liking for army officers, due to the fact that 
his son Fred was a pupil at West Point. One 
day I received an invitation to visit his house 
in order to meet young Fred, who had just 
returned, and I asked Grant to go with rue. This 


he did, and of course was introduced to the fam- 
ily, the last one to come in being Miss Julia Dent, 
the charming daughter of our host. It is needless 
to say that we saw but little of Grant during the 
rest of our visit. He paid court, in fact, with such 
assiduity as to give rise to the hope that he had 
forever gotten over his diffidence. Five years 
later, in 1848, after the usual uncertainties of a sol- 
dier's courtship, Grant returned and claimed Miss 
Dent as his bride. I had been married just six 
months at that time, and my wife and I were 
guests at the wedding. 

" In 1844 the Fourth Regiment was ordered to 
Louisiana to form part of the army of observation. 
Still later we formed part of the army of occupa- 
tion in Corpus Christi, Texas. Here, removed 
from all society, without books or papers, we had 
an excellent opportunity of studying each other. 
I and every one else always found Grant resolute 
and doing his duty in a simple manner. His 
honor was never suspected, his friendships were 
true, his hatred of guile was pronounced, and his 
detestation of talebearers was, I may say, ab- 
solute. The soid of honor himself, he never even 
suspected others, either then or years afterward. 
He could not bring himself to look upon the ras- 
cally side of human nature. While we remained 
in Corpus Christi, an incident illustrating Grant's 
skill and fearlessness as a horseman occurred. The 


Mexicans were in the habit of bringing in wild 
horses, which they would sell for two or three dol- 
lars. These horses came near costing more limn 
one officer his life. One day a particularly furi- 
ous animal was brought in. Every officer in the 
camp had declined to purchase the animal, except 
Grant, who declared that he would either break 
the horse's neck or his own. He had the horse 
blindfolded, bridled and saddled, and when firmly 
in the saddle he threw off the blind, sunk his 
spurs into the horse's flanks, and was soon out of 
sight. For three hours he rode the animal over 
all kinds of ground, through field and stream, and 
when horse and rider returned to camp the horse 
was thoroughly tamed. For years afterwards the 
story of Grant's ride was related at every camp- 
fire in the country. 

" During the Mexican War we were separated, 
Grant having been made quartermaster of the 
Fourth. Regiment, while I was assigned to dutv as 
adjutant of the Eighth. At the battle of Molino 
del Re}', however, I had occasion to notice his 
superb courage and coolness under fire. So no- 
ticeable was his bearing that his gallantry was 
alluded to in the official reports. 

"During the war my immediate command had 
engaged the troops of Grant but once — at the 
battle of the Wilderness. We came into no sort 
of personal relations, however. In the spring of 


1865, one day, while awaiting a letter from Gen- 
eral Grant, General Lee said to me, 'There is 
nothing ahead of ns but to surrender.' It was as 
one of the commissioners appointed to arrange the 
terms of peace that I met General Grant at Ap- 
pomattox. His whole greeting and conduct to- 
wards us were as though nothing had ever happened 
to mar our pleasant relations. In 1866 I had occa- 
sion to visit Washington on business, and while 
there made a call of courtesy on General Grant at 
his office. As I arose to leave he followed me out 
into the hallway, and asked me to spend an even- 
ing with his family. I thanked him, promising 
compliance, and passed a most enjoyable evening. 
When leaving, Grant again accompanied me into 
the hallway and said, r General, would you like to 
have an amnesty ? " Wholly unprepared for this, 
I replied that I would like to have it, but had no 
hope of getting it. He told me to write out my 
application and to call at his office at noon the next 
day, and in the meantime he would see President 
Johnson and Secretary of War Stanton on my be- 
half. When I called he had already seen these 
men, and assured me that there was not an ob- 
stacle in the way. He indorsed my application 
by asking that it be granted as a special personal 
favor to himself. In the January before he was 
inaugurated President for the first time, I paid him 
a passing friendly visit. He then said to me : 


' Longstreet, I want you to come and see me after 
I am inaugurated, and let me know what you want.' 
After the inauguration I was walking up the avenue 
one day to see him, when I met a friend who in- 
formed me that the President had sent in my name 
for confirmation as surveyor of the port of New Or- 
leans. For several weeks the nomination hung in 
the Senate, when I went to Grant and begged him 
to withdraw the nomination, as I did not want his 
personal friendship for me to embarrass his admin- 
istration. ' Give yourself no uneasiness about 
that,' he said ; ' the senators have as many favors 
to ask of me as I have of them, and I will see that 
you are confirmed.' 

"From what I have already told you," said 
General Longstreet, in conclusion, " it will be 
seen that Grant was a modest man, a simple man, 
a man believing in the honesty of his fellows, true 
to his friends, faithful to traditions, and of great 
personal honor. When the United States district 
court in Eichmond was about to indict General 
Lee and myself for treason, General Grant inter- 
posed and said : f I have pledged my word for 
their safety.' This stopped the wholesale indict- 
ments of ex-Confederate officers which would have 
followed. He was thoroughly magnanimous, was 
above all petty things and small ideas, and, after 
Washington, was the highest type of manhood 
America has produced." 


Ex-Mayor James W. English said: "I fought 
four years against Grant. Georgia and the South 
mourn his death. I was in a position at Peters- 
burg to shoot Grant, but turned my head away, 
preferring to let him live. I regard his plaee in 
American history as among the greatest men in 
the world. There was something else besides 
the force of circumstances to make him great." 

Messages of condolence were received from 
Queen Victoria, the Prince and Princess of Wales, 
and many of the crowned heads of Europe and 
Asia. The London Standard wrote : " Though 
his death was expected, the event is not the less 
to be deplored. We can only share with his 
mourning countrymen the sense of the loss of one 
whose career was so notable, so honorable to him- 
self, so useful to his native land. His popularity 
rose, if possible, when the nation saw how he faced 
poverty and ruin. He was of a simple and mod- 
est nature, never cast down by reverses nor elated 
by prosperity. As a general he was never a great 
strategist. He knew only one course — namely, 
to fight. To-day, from Cape Cod to the Alaskan 
Isles, the land will once more be stirred by sad- 
dening memories of the war." 

The London Xews gave the following trib- 
ute : — 

"There have been few braver men. England 
will sincerely regret his death. It is as a soldier 


that he will be remembered, and his fame will rest 
chiefly upon his eminent military services. After 
the death of Lincoln, General Grant was decidedly 
the most popular man in the United States, and 
his standing as such was not injured by his quar- 
rel with President Johnson. He was essentially a 
man of action and not of speech. His name must 
ever be associated with the memory of that strug- 
gle of which Lincoln was the brain and heart and 
Grant the arm and weapon." 




T~N offering Riverside Park for the final resting- 
-*- place of General Grant, Mayor Grace of New 
York wrote to Colonel Fred. Grant that the site 
was chosen because of the peculiar beauty of the 
place in its location on the river, and the fact that 
a monument on it would be visible far and wide. 
The entire park would become sacred and devoted 
to the memory of the great soldier, and the char- 
acter of its development would be largely deter- 
mined by this fact. There was, however, great 
disappointment in Washington that the burial was 
not to take place at the Soldiers' Home ; and the 
general feeling throughout the country was that 
the body of the nation's hero should rest in the 
nation's capital. 

After the process of embalming, General Grant's 
features assumed the firmness of outline which had 
been taken away by his long sickness ; and as he 
lay wrapped in the stars and stripes in the cottage 
at Mt. MacGregor, his little grandchildren, anx- 
ious to do something for " Grandpa," stitched 
together some oak leaves in the form of a rude 


crown and laid them tenderly upon the casket. 
This simple, touching gift of the children remained 
in its place among all the floral offerings until the 
last rites were performed. August 8 was appointed 
as the day for the public ceremonies at New York, 
and the memorial services throughout the country ; 
but before the funeral college left Mt. MacGregor, 
a solemn, impressive service was held in the par- 
lors of the little cottage, at which only the mem- 
bers of the family were present. Thousands of 
people came to take a last look at the beloved 
form as it lay in state at Mt. MacGregor, and tens 
of thousands more when the funeral party reached 
Albany and the dead general was placed in the 
grand central court of the Capitol. 

From AVednesday, August 5, until Saturday, 
the 8th, the body lay in state at the City Hall in 
New York. As the afternoon of the first day 
wore on, the line of people gradually extended, 
until one could almost imagine that as they passed 
out of the rear door of the City Hall, they joined 
the line once more, and thus kept up a continuous 
circuit. The sun wandered away to the west, and 
still the crowds increased, and the foot of the line 
soon extended far past Chambers street and away 
up Centre. It was a remarkable gathering, in that 
all feelings of selfishness seemed to have been 
buried for the time, and good-naturedly, without 
any fretting or pushing, each person moved along 


in the line, awaiting his turn to enter the building. 
No loud language was heard, each one seeming to 
feel that it would be out of place on such an occa- 
sion. It was estimated that on an average 100 
people passed the guards every minute, and at 3 
o'clock, nine hours after the opening of the gates, 
and about the same time before they would be 
closed, 55,000 persons had viewed the remains. 
At sunrise on Saturday morning, August 8, 
minute guns were fired from Maine to California, 
to announce the final preparations for the greatest 
funeral this country has ever seen. The tolling 
of church bells, and the Sunday quiet in the 
streets, were a fitting beginning of the day. The 
human tide began to set from all directions towards 
the line selected for the procession. The people 
poured into the city in converging streams from 
Brooklyn, from New Jersey, from Staten Island, 
from Westchester County and from Connecticut, 
to say nothing of the strangers who journeyed 
from more distant parts. The dwellers on the 
east of the city flocked to the west, those in 
the extreme Avest marched to the east until they 
faced each other in unbroken ranks to await the 
final passing of the famous commander. This influx 
of the populace in the early hours was a wonderful 
and curious thing to see. Over the bridge, on foot 
and in cars, by ferries and trains, they flocked 
steadily towards the centre of interest. It seemed 

310 LIFE OF GEN". l\ S. OP, ANT. 

down town as if everybody was going north, and 
as if all business districts below the City Hall 
must be drained of all inhabitants. All the ordi- 
nary everyday currents of city life were reversed. 
Nearly all business ceased. 

Although the people disposed themselves early 
along the route of the procession, the City Hall re- 
mained a centre of interest as long as Grant's body 
lay in it. General Hancock and his staff, in full- 
dress uniform, rode up in front of the building just 
before nine o'clock. At this time one hundred and 
twenty members of the Liederkranz Society tiled up 
to the steps, and, led by six instrumentalists, sang, 
with impressive effect, the "Chorus of the Spirits 
from Over the Water." by Schubert, and the 
" Chorus of the Pilgrims,'' from M Tannhauser." 
The two selections were well rendered, in German. 
At the conclusion of the singing, the choristers 
looked through the barred gates at the black cata- 
falque and the casket of royal purple. Soon after 
that, the original G. A. R. guard which served on 
Mt. MacGregor filed in. Mayor Grace, dressed in 
black broadcloth, arrived at his office about this 
time. lie found President Sanger, of the board i^\' 
aldermen, and the city officers, awaiting him. The 
church bells began their tolling, and all was in 
readiness for the transfer of the casket on the 
funeral car. 

The Governor's Island band, which had already 


taken up its position on the green in front of the 
City Hall, commenced to play a military dirge, 
with admirable softness and precision. General 
Hancock returned and took up his position at the 
head of the column. General Fitz Hugh Lee rode 
on horseback, wearing civilian's dress, with a 
mourning sash across the breast. On the grass on 
the southern side of this open space a few soldiers 
of the regulars were stationed at intervals, and all 
along the approaches to the broad stone platform 
before the building were policemen who kept back 
the spectators. 

The funeral car, drawn by twenty-four jet-black 
horses in black trappings, each led by a negro, 
halted on the plaza directly in front of the City 
Hall steps. Inside the corridor, Commander John- 
son was waiting. " Columns in position, right and 
left," was his command. "Lift the remains," ho 
said, in clear, but low tones. The twelve men 
stooped to the silver rails, with gloved hands. 
"March," was the next word, and the coffin was 
borne down the steps, with measured tread, across 
the open space to the steps of the black funeral 

Then the pall-bearers, with their broad white 
scarfs reaching to the ground, made their appear- 
ance in a cluster at the head of the steps. Gen- 
eral Sherman, in his full uniform, linked arms with 
General Buckner of Kentucky, and General Sheri- 


dan stood with General Joseph E. Johnston. The 
iron gates went back, and they entered. Then 
there was a pause, and each man held his breath, 
and tears involuntarily sprang to the eyes of many, 
for all knew what was coming. The white-scarfed 
pall-bearers came out from City Hall, and with 
them were the men of the Grand Army of the 
Republic. Then the band sounded a funeral dirge, 
the pall-bearers descended with slow, sad steps 
the marble stairs, and the guard of honor of the 
U. S. Grant Post of Brooklyn were seen support- 
ing the casket with its covering of amaranth vel- 
vet and its bars of polished silver. There were 
six on each side. Slowly they descended the 
stairs, and walked, preceded by the pall-bearers, 
across the road to the catafalque, and slowly they 
paced up the movable steps and deposited their 
burden of the black bier beneath the canopy with 
its wealth of nodding plumes. 

A little before one o'clock the head of the long 
procession arrived at One Hundred and Twenty- 
Second Street, and turned into Riverside Park. 
One writer happily describes the scene as fol- 
lows : — 

The street was transformed into one magnificent, far- 
reaching mass of blended colors, like a colored floral offer- 
ing, ever varying its hues as it undulated under the bright 
sunlight, steadily moving on and on, as if borne by unseen 
giant genii toward the tomb of the great man, there to be 
laid about the burial spot in honor of the dead. Here was 


one even stretch of white helmets so disposed to the eye by 
the slope of the hill as to closely resemble a great bank of 
immortelles. Then a mass of artillery red plumes gave 
color to the fancy that the avenue was an oriental garden 
of " General Grant geraniums." The yellow-trimmed ma- 
rines, the white and blue capped sailors, the gray of sev- 
eral infantry organizations, the frequently recurring black 
helmets, the kaleidoscopic changes of blue and white, black 
and red, gray and yellow, naturally enough led to the 
poetic notion that the famous thoroughfare of the great 
metropolis was a monster parterre blossoming by some en- 
chantment in funeral progress and rhythm, block by block, 
toward the last resting-place of America's greatest general. 
A remarkable ami at the same time significant thing about 
the multitude who watched this superb spectacle was the 
fact that very few persons allowed themselves to forget 
the occasion which brought it forth. Several times there 
was a faint attempt at hand-clapping, as some popular mili- 
tary organization or famous man was passing, but it was 
invariably quickly silenced by a subdued " Hush, hush," 
from a hundred lips. 

At precisely 3 : 35 o'clock, the sad strains of 
music gave notice of the approach of the cata- 
falque, and the waiting soldiers came to order. In 
a few minutes a number of carriao-es came into 
view and shortly drew up in front of the tomb. 
From them alighted first Rev. J. P. Newman 
and Bishop Harris. Following them were Gen- 
erals Sheridan and Buckner, Sherman and John- 
ston, General John A. Logan, and George AY. 
Boutwell. Then came the funeral car, preceded 
by the band, and surrounded by the members of 


George G. Meade Post, of Philadelphia, of which 
the dead general was a member. Behind them, 
and coining slowly down between the ranks of 
soldiers at a present arms, were the family and 
mourners. Among them were President Cleve- 
land, Vice-President Hendricks, ex-Presidents Ar- 
thur and Hayes, and Senator John Sherman. 

As the car reached its place before the door of 
the tomb, the Governor's Island band, stationed 
on the knoll to the north, started to play, and all 
down the ranks muffled drums beat a sad tattoo. 

When the casket had been placed in the cedar 
lead-lined box, the members of Meade Post stepped 
forward, and, as was their right, began the last 
services over the body of their dead comrade. 

At the close of Chaplain Wright's prayer, a 
grizzled bugler came out of the throng, and, 
standing directly over the body, sounded "Taps." 

Post Commander Alexander Reed then said : — 
"One by one, as the years roll on, we are called 
together to fulfil the last sad rites of respect to 
our comrades of the war. The present, full of 
the cares and pleasures of civil life, fades away, 
and we look back to the time when, shoulder to 
shoulder on many battlefields or around the guns 
of our men-of-war, we fought for our dear old 
flag. We may indulge the hope that the spirit 
with which, on land and sea, hardship, privation 
and danger were encountered by our dead heroes 


may never be blotted out from the history or mem- 
ory of the generations to come — a spirit uncom- 
plaining, obedient to the behest of duty ; whereby 
to-day our national honor is secure, and our loved 
ones rest in peace under the protection of the 
dear old flag. May the illustrious life of him 
whom Ave lay in the tomb to-day prove a glorious 
incentive to the youth of our country. As the 
years roll on, we, too, shall have fought our bat- 
tles through, and be laid at rest, our souls follow- 
ing (he long column to the realms above, as grim 
death, hour by hour, shall mark its victims. Let 
us so live that when that time shall come those we 
leave behind may say above our graves : ' Here 
lies the body of a true-hearted, brave and earnest 
defender of the republic' " 

Then Bishop Harris came forward and began 
the beautiful burial service which commences, "I 
am the resurrection and the life." When he had 
concluded, he read from Corinthians xv. 41 and 
following verses : " There is one glory of the 
sun and another of the moon, and another glory 
of the stars, for one star difFereth from another in 
glory," etc. Then Comrade Lewis E. Moore laid 
a wreath of evergreens upon the casket, saying : 
"In behalf of the post, I give this tribute as a 
symbol of undying love for comrades of the war." 
Comrade John A. Weidersheim laid flowers upon 
the coffin, and named them symbols of purity. 


Another wreath, of laurel, was laid upon the cas- 
ket by Comrade J. A. Sellers, as a last token of 
affection from comrades-in-arms. 

Rev. Dr. Newman read the balance of the burial 
service. Then came an address by Rev. J. "VV. 
Sayres, chaplain-in-chief of the department of 
Pennsylvania, G. A. R., in which he spoke, ac- 
cording to the formula prescribed for such occa- 
sions, of another comrade's march being over, 
whose virtues all should cherish, whose example 
all should emulate. 

Again came the grizzled bugler to the front. 
In his eyes were tears, and his lips quivered. 
With trembling arm he lifted the instrument to 
his lips, and there broke upon the still air the 
beautiful and sad notes of the soldiers' long fare- 
well, called by them "Rest." With the last quav- 
ering notes of the soldiers' " Good-Night," a gun 
from the Alliance, in the river below, boomed out. 
But one gun was fired ; and as its echo died away 
in the Jersey hills, the casket was placed in the 
steel case and taken to the tomb. 

Throughout the whole country, East, West, 
North and South, that August day, impressive 
memorial services were held, and eloquent trib- 
utes paid to the great soldier. 

" Blessed are Pain, the smiter, 
And Sorrow, the uniter! 
For one afflicted lies — 


A symbolled sacrifice — 
And all our rancor dies ! 

;< No North, no South! O stem-faced Chief, 
One weeping ours, one cowled Grief — 
Thy country — bowed in prayer and tear — 
For North and South — above thy bier ! 

" For North and South! O Soldier grim, 
The broken ones to weep for him 
Who broke them ! He whose terrors blazed 
In smoking harvests, cities razed ; 
Whose fate-like glance sent fear and chill; 
Whose wordless lips spoke deathless will — 
Till all was shattered, all was lost — 
All hands dropped down — all War's red cost 
Laid there in ashes — Hope and Hate 
And Shame and Glory ! 

" Death and Fate, 
Fall back! Another touch is thine : 
He drank not of thy poisoned wine, 
Nor blindly met thy blind thrown lance, 
Nor died for sightless time or chance — 
But waited, suffered, bowed and tried, 
Till all the dross was purified; 
Till every well of hate was dried ; 
And North and South, sad sisters, cried, 
And then — at God's own calling — died! " 

John Boyle O'Reilly. 




O AID Senator Hoar in his eulogy, delivered at 
^ Worcester : — 

I do not think I am indulging the exaggeration so often 
imputed to Americans on occasions like this, when I say 
that for the last twenty years of his life, if you measure 
General Grant by what it was his fortune to accomplish, or 
by the honors which have been voluntarily paid him by 
mankind, he was 

The foremost living man of all the world. 

He had commanded armies larger than were ever handled 
by any general before or since. Under his command those 
armies saved the life of his country. He was called to the 
chief executive power in a time of unexampled difficulty. 
With that power he preserved his country's honor. But he 
achieved conquests more difficult than these. He subdued 
to affection and reverence the hatred born of a great civil 
war, and the Old World's prejudices of rank and birth. 

As his body left Mt. MacGregor for its last resting-place, 
a throng of princes and nobles and warriors and statesmen 
gathered in Westminster Abbey to do him honor. It is, as 
you all know, in English eyes, the holiest spot of the proud- 
est empire of the Old World. There for a thousand years 
England has garnered up the sacred dust of her royalty and 
chivalry, her poets and her sages. One of her most famous 
preachers told that august assembly that " this man rose by 


the upward gravitation of natural fitness ; " that the lessons 
taught by this great life were "the vanity of feudalism," 
" the dignity of labor," that " men should be honored simply 
as men, not according to the accident of birth," that "the 
people have a sovereign insight into intrinsic force," and that 
"every true man derives a patent of nobleness direct from 
God." Surely we may indulge our love and pride for that 
greal and simple character, which, by its native excellence, 
carries the ideas which lie at the foundation of American life 
victorious into the very stronghold of English feudalism, as 
he bore the banner of his country victorious into the ranks 
of rebellion. If we needed it, or cared for it, we could find 
ample support and justification for the high estimate which 
his countrymen have placed on him, when we see how gen- 
erally foreign critics compare him with Washington and 

You do not expect of any person who shall speak to you 
here an attempt to discourse at length on the life or the char- 
acter of General Grant. To give the history of tiiose great 
campaigns, where the greatest armies ever mustered, oc- 
cupying the greatest spaces ever covered by any nation 
with its troops, officered by illustrious generals contending 
for as great a stake as was ever in issue in human history, 
directed, moved as one man, were marshalled to victory by 
his genius, would require a lifetime of preparation and re- 
search from the ablest military historian. To narrate fitly 
the story of those eight eventful years of his presidency, 
with its great problems of administration, of pacification, of 
reconstruction, of finance, of foreign policy, will be amon°- 
the high ambitions of the literary genius of future times. 
We cannot even speak with any justice to ourselves or to 
him of the great personal qualities of the man, the action 
faithful, the honor clear, the integrity without a stain, the 
courage never-failing, the unconquerable will, 
As constant as the Northern Star, 
Of whose true fixed and resting quality- 
There is no fellow in the firmament, 


the great, gentle, tender, loving heart, the simple speech, 
the moderation in triumph, the strong, genuine American 
feeling that the flattery of a world could not disturb, the 
Christian faith that conquered the great conqueror Death, 
and to which God gave the victory. 

He was the one man in America whom the people knew 
by heart. Since his first great victory at Fort Donelson, 
his name has been blended with every great event 
that spoke of hope, of joy, of loyalty, of union, of pride to 
Americans. The thrill that passed through all loyal hearts 
at the news of Henry, of Donelson, of Vicksburg, Appomat- 
tox, pulses again as we name his name. 

But yet, we shall do him injustice, not honor, we shall 
offend that mighty shade, if we fail to draw from his life 
the lesson he most desired it should teach. We are paying 
him no mere personal honor. It is to Grant as the repre- 
sentative American soldier, to Grant the example and in- 
spiration of the virtues which his comrades likewise shared, 
to Grant stirred as they were stirred by American history, 
American quality, American faith, that we pay our respect 
to-day. As we bury him in that proud metropolis, by the 
bank of the historic river, with martial music, and stately 
procession ; as America bows her head in grief, as she remem- 
bers her loss, and lifts it again, smiling and in triumph, as 
she remembers his glory, the humblest soldier, on country 
farm or in city street— aye, in hospital or in home — may 
take to himself that honor, may say: "I shared in those 
sacrifices, I helped to that victory, I partake of that re- 
nown. This is mine, this is mine also." 

The story of General Grant's life, says General 
Horace Porter, savors more of romance than real- 
ity ; it is more like fable of ancient days than 
the history of an American citizen of the nine- 
teenth century. As light and shade produce the 


most attractive effects in a picture, so the contrasts 
in the career of the lamented general, the strange 
vicissitudes of his eventful life, surround him with 
an interest which attaches to few characters in 

His rise from the obscure lieutenant to the com- 
mander of the veteran armies of the great repub- 
lic, his transition from a frontier post of the 
untrodden West to the executive mansion of the 
nation : his sitting at one time in a little store in 
Galena, not even known to the congressman from 
his district ; at another time striding through the 
palaces of the Old "World, with the descendants of 
a line of kings rising and standing uncovered in 
his presence ; his humble birth in an Ohio town 
scarcely known to the geographer ; his distressing 
illness and courageous death in the bosom of the 
nation he had saved — these are the features of 
his marvellous career which appeal to the imagi- 
nation, excite men's wonder, and fascinate the 
minds of all who make a study of his life. 

Many of the motives which actuated him, and 
the real sources of strength employed in the put- 
ting forth of his singular powers, will never be 
fully understood, for added to a habit of commun- 
ing much with himself was a modesty which always 
seemed to make him shrink from speaking of a 
matter so personal to him as an analysis of his 
own mental powers, and those who knew him best 


sometimes understood him the least. His most 
intimate associates often had to judge the man by 
the results accomplished, without comprehending 
the causes which produced them. In his inter- 
course he did not study to be reticent about him- 
self; he seemed rather to be unconscious of self. 
When visiting St. Louis with him while he was 
President, he made a characteristic remark, show- 
ing how little his thoughts dwelt upon those events 
of his life which made such a deep impression 
upon others. 

Upon his arrival, a horse and buggy were or- 
dered, and a drive was taken to his farm, about 
eight miles distant. He stopped on the high 
ground overlooking the city, and stood for a time 
by the side of the little log house which he had 
built, partly with his own hands, in the days of his 
poverty and early struggles. Upon being asked 
whether the events of the past fifteen years of his 
life did not seem to him like a tale of the Arabian 
Nights, especially in coming from the White 
House to visit the little farm-house of early days, 
he simply replied, "Well, I never thought about 
it in that light." 

Captain John R. Steere, now an inmate of the 
Soldiers' Home, tells a good story, showing how 
he, when but sixteen years of age, made General 
Grant obey* his own orders. 

The occurrence took place in the early stages 


of the war, shortly after Grant had received his 
commission as brigadier-general, and was placed 
in command of the military district of Missouri, 
with headquarters at Cairo. John Steere, then a 
boy of a little over sixteen years of age, enlisted 
and was ordered, with others, to report at Cairo, 
which they did. Five days after enlisting, they 
were drilled in marching and manoeuvring without 
uniform or arms. This was continued for a few 
days, when the new recruits were given uniforms 
and old Harper's Ferry muskets, one of those old 
affairs that every time the gun was discharged the 
shooter had to go hunting for the hammer of his gun. 
The morning after young Steere was given his 
gun he was stationed at General Grant's head- 
quarters as guard. The headquarters was located 
on the levee fronting the Ohio River, near the 
junction of the Mississippi River. It was in No- 
vember, and the day was a cold and blusterous one. 
Steere's military experience was very limited in- 
deed, and the inclement weather did not exactly 
suit him. His orders were to let no one except 
an officer or one on official business enter the build- 
ing. He stood at his post of duty until chilled 
through and through, when he set his musket up 
in one corner of the door, leaning against the sill, 
and himself close up against the building, with the 
cape of his overcoat pulled up over his ears to 
keep warm. 


As every person who came near the place seemed 
to be an officer, he molested no one, devoting all 
his time and attention to keeping himself warm 
and comfortable. Morpheus courted him, and he 
was on the verge of taking a pleasant snooze when 
some one coming down the stairway aroused him. 
Looking up, he saw an officer buckling on an ele- 
gant sword. After passing through the door, the 
officer came to a halt, and, looking at the guard 
indignantly, asked : 

" What are you doing there ? " 
"I'm the guard," replied Steere. 
"An excellent guard, indeed. Do you know 
whose headquarters this is ? " 
" Yes, sir ; General Grant's." 
The officer looked at the guard a moment in 
silence, and then thundered: 

" Stand up there, sir, and bring your gun to a 
shoulder ! " 

Young Steere did as requested, bringing his 
gun to his shoulder like a squirrel -hunter. The 
officer took the gun from him, and went through 
the manual of arms for him. He remained with 
him for fifteen or twenty minutes until he taught 
him how to handle his gun, when he asked : 
" How long have you been in the service ? " 
" Several days." 
" Do you know who lam?" 
"No, sir; never saw you before." 


" I am General Grant. You have deserted your 
post of duty, sir, -which is a very serious breach 
of discipline. I will not punish you this time, 
but, young man, be very careful it does not occur 
again. Orders must be strictly and promptly 
obeyed always." 

With this the general walked away. The oc- 
currence was soon known to many of the soldiers, 
and is said to have been of advantage to them all 
in the way of rudiments for military discipline. 
Several days after this, young Steere was put on 
guard on a steamboat which was being loaded 
with provisions and ammunition, with orders to 
allow no one with a lighted pipe or cigar to come 
within a given distance — about fifty feet. He 
had not been at his post of duty more than an 
hour when General Grant approached with a light- 
ed cigar between his teeth. He seemed to be 
deep in thought, but the moment he came near the 
gangplank his musings were interrupted. 

" Halt ! " cried the young guard, bringing his 
gun to his shoulder. 

The general was taken completely by surprise. 
He looked at the young guard, who had him cov- 
ered with his gun, amazed ; and then his counte- 
nance showed traces of arising anger. But he did 
not budo-e an inch. 

" I have been taught to obey orders strictly and 
promptly," explained Steere, quoting the general ; 


" and as my orders are to allow no one to approach 
this boat with a lighted cigar, you will please 
throw yours away." 

Grant smiled, threw his cigar into the river, 
and crossed the gangplank on to the boat. 

In conversation, General Grant once said: "I 
never liked service in the army. I did not wish 
to go to West Point. My father had to use his 
authority to make me go. I never went into a 
battle willingly or with enthusiasm. I never want 
to command another army. It was only after 
Donelson that I began to see how important was 
the work that Providence devolved upon me. I 
did not want to be made lieutenant-general. I did 
not want the presidency, and have never quite for- 
given m}'self for resigning the command of the 
army to accept it." 

The following letter, however, written while at 
West Point, to his cousin, McKingstiy Griffith, 
shows that his life there was not wholly distasteful 
to the young cadet : — 

Military Academy, "West Point, N. Y. 
September, 22, 1839. 
Deak Coz, — I was just thinking that you would be right 
glad to hear from one of your relations who is so far away 
as I am. So I have put away my algebra and French, and 
am going to tell you a long story about this prettiest of 
places, West Point. So far as it regards natural attractions, 
it is decidedly the most beautiful place that I have ever 
seen. Here are hills and dales, rocks and river; all pleas- 


ant to look upon. From the window near I can see the 
Hudson, that far-famed, that beautiful river, with its bosom 
studded with hundreds of snowy sails. 

Again, if I look another way, I can see Fort Pitt, now 
frowning far above, a stern monument of a sterner age, 
which seems placed there on purpose to tell us of the glori- 
ous deeds of our fathers, and to bid us to remember their 
sufferings — to follow their example. 

In short, this is the best of places, the place of all places 
for an institution like this. I have not told you half its at- 
tractions. Here is the house Washington used to live in — 
there Kosciusko used to walk and think of his country and 
ours. Over the river we are shown the dwelling-house of 
Arnold, that base and heartless traitor to his country and 
his God. I do love the place ; it seems as though I could 
live here forever, if my friends would only come too. You 
might search the wide world over, and then not find a bet- 
ter. Now, all this sounds nice, very nice; what a happy 
fellow you are ; but I am not one to show false colors, or 
the brightest side of the picture, so I will tell you about 
some of the drawbacks : First, I slept for two months upon 
one single pair of blankets — now this sounds romantic, 
and you may think it very easy, but I tell you what, coz, 
it is tremendous hard. 

Suppose you try it by way of experiment for a night or 
two. I am pretty sure that you would be perfectly satis- 
fied that it is no easy matter, but glad am I these things 
are over. We are now in our quarters. I have a splendid 
bed, and get along very well. Our pay is nominally about 
twenty-eight dollars a month, but we never see a cent of it. 
If we wish anything, from a shoestring to a coat, we must 
go to the commandant of the post and get an order for it, 
or we cannot have it. We have tremendous long and hard 
lessons to get in both French and algebra. I study hard, 
and hope to get along so as to pass the examination in Jan- 
uary. This examination is a hard one, they say, but I am 


not frightened yet. If I am successful here, you will not 
see me for two long years. It seems a long while to me, 
but time passes off very fast. It seems but a few days since 
I came here. It is because every hour has its duty which 
must be performed. On the whole, I like the place very 
much — so much that I would not go away on any account. 
The fact is, if a man graduates here he is safe for life, let 
him go where he will. There is much to dislike, but more 
to like. I mean to study hard and stay, if it be possible ; 
if I cannot, very well — the world is wide. I have now been 
here about four months and have not seen a single familiar 
face or spoken to a single lady, I wish some of the pretty 
girls of Bethel were here, just so I might look at them. 
But fudge; confound the girls. I have seen great men. 
plenty of them ; let us see — General Scott, Mr. Van Buren, 
secretaries of war and navy, Washington Irving, and lots 
of other big bugs. If I were to come home now, the way 
you would laugh at my appearance would be curious. My 
pants set as tight to my skin as the bark to a tree, and if I do 
not walk military — that is, if I bend over quickly or run — 
they are very apt to crack, with a report as loud as a pistol. 
My coat must always be buttoned up tight to the skin. It 
is made of sheep's gray cloth, all covered with big round 
buttons. It makes one look very singular. If you were to 
see me at a distance, the first question you would ask would 
be, " Is that a fish or an animal ? " You must give my very 
best love and respects to all my friends, particularly your 
brothers, Uncles Ross and Samuel Simpson. You must 
also write me a long letter in reply to this, and tell me 
about everything and everybody, including yourself. If 
you happen to see any of my folks, just tell them that I urn 
happy, alive and well. I am truly your cousin and obedi- 
ent servant, U. H. Grant. 
McKingstry Griffith. 
N. B. In coming I stopped five days in Philadelphia 
with our friends. They are all well. Tell Grandmother 


Simpson that they have always expected to see her before, 
but have almost given up the idea now. They hope to hear 
from her often. U. H. Grant. 

I came near forgetting to tell you about our demerit or 
"black marks." They give a man one of these "black 
marks " for almost nothing, and if he gets two hundred a 
year they dismiss him. To show how easy one can get 
these, a man by the name of Grant, of this state, got eight 
of these " marks " for not going to church to-day. He was 
also put under arrest, so he cannot leave his room, perhaps 
for a month — all this for not going to church. We are not 
only obliged to go to church, but must march there by com- 
panies. This is not republican. It is an Episcopal church. 
Contrary to the expectations of you and the rest of my 
Bethel friends, I have not been the least homesick. I would 
not go home on any account whatever. When I come home, 
in two years (if I live), the way I shall astonish you na- 
tives will be curious. I hope you will not take me for a 

My best respects to Grandmother Simpson. I often think 
of her I put this on the margin so you may remember it 
better. I want you to show her this letter and all others I 
may write to you, to her. I am going to write to some of 
my friends in Philadelphia soon. When they answer, I 
shall write you again to tell you all about them, etc. 

Remember and write me very soon, for I want to hear 

"I knew him as a boy at school," said Mr. 
Markland, who was at the head of the mail service 
of Grant's army. "My home was at Maysville, 
Ky., and young Grant came there a boy of twelve 
or thirteen to attend the academy. He lived with 
his aunt in Maysville, and was a very quiet, retir- 


ing and studious boy. As I remember him, he was 
a little chubby fellow with a round, freckled face, 
and sandy hair. He was a good-natured boy and 
went by the name of r Lyss.' Shortly after he left 
school, he went to AVest Point, and from that time 
I did not meet him again until in the fall of 1861 I 
was sent West in connection with the Postoffice 
Department. In attending to my business I was 
thrown in with General Grant at Cairo at about 
the time he took command. Here I got my first 
glimpse of him as a man. As an instance of his 
remarkable memory of features, though he could 
not have known I was coming to Cairo, he recog- 
nized me at once one day when I was passing the 
window of his headquarters. I did not recognize 
him. It did not take us long to revive our old 
schoolfellowship, and we became great friends. I 
remained about Cairo in my connection with the 
Postoffice Department until about the time of the 
movement on Fort Henry. At this time General 
Grant asked me if I did not want to see a fight, and 
invited me to go to Fort Henry with him. On the 
way to Fort Henry, on the headquarters steamer 
"New Uncle Sam," knowing that I was an officer 
of the Postoffice Department, he suggested to me, 
or rather inquired if it were not possible to keep 
the mail up to the army, and not to take the sol- 
diers' letters home. On my answering that I 
thought this could be done, he gave me that branch 


of the service, and from that beginning sprang the 
great army mail service of the war, and to General 
Grant the credit of originating that service belongs. 
The army mail service developed the fact that the 
mails could be distributed in railway cars and on 
the top of railway cars going at the rate of thirty 
miles an hour. In wagons, ambulances, and even 
on horseback, mails were frequently distributed 
and delivered under the murderous fire of the ene- 
my, and it may be said that the perfect railway 
mail service of to-day is the outgrowth of the army 
mail service." 

In recalling the religious training and experi- 
ences of General Grant, Dr. Newman said: "He 
was brought up in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
His father's house was the home of Methodist 
preachers for over forty years. The general's 
earliest recollections were associated with the 
clergy. He had to care for their horses. He re- 
membered that the horses were good ones, and 
that their owners always insisted on their having 
plenty of oats. Many a time he was sent out by 
his father to take oif the saddle-bags and put up 
the horses. Once a preacher was to move from 
the neighborhood in which the Grants lived. He 
was to take his family and furniture in a wagon for 
two hundred miles, and wanted some one to drive 
for him. Applying to the general's father for a 
driver, the old gentleman detailed Ulysses, then a 


lad, for that work. Afterwards the preacher re- 
ported to the boy's father that never in his life 
had he had such a good and silent driver. 

" The general's father was a farmer at that time. 
In later years he lived at Covington, Ky. He was 
a churchgoer always, serving in the Methodist 
church as trustee, steward and class leader. 
Wherever he went he was a ruling spirit in church 
affairs. He was a man of sterling character, strong 
will, high purposes, and at times arbitrary. His 
mother was modest, intelligent and sunny in spirit. 
The general inherited her nature. All of his sisters 
were devout-Methodists. One of them, Mrs. Cra- 
mer, married a Methodist preacher, now the min- 
ister of the government at Berne, Switzerland. 

" The general was thus indoctrinated in the faith 
of the church. He held to those great principles 
of Christianity all his life. Accepting the Bible as 
the word of God to man, he regarded Christianity 
as divine. But his mind tended to the sunny side 
of Christianity. The beneficent results of the 
Gospel promised to him the glory of the Messiah, 
the universal triumph of Christianity." 

Chaplain J. L. Crane of Grant's regiment writes 
of his camp life at Cairo, before going to the front : 
"Grant is about five feet ten inches in height, and 
will weigh one hundred forty or one hundred forty- 
five pounds. He has a countenance indicative of 
reserve, and an indomitable will and persistent 


purpose. In dress he is indifferent or careless, 
making no pretensions to style or fashionable mil- 
itary display. Had he continued a colonel till 
now, I think his uniform would have lasted till 
this day ; for he never used it except on dress 
parade, and then seemed to regard it a good deal 
as David did Saul's armor. ' His body is a vial of 
intense existence ; ' and yet when a stranger would 
see him in a crowd he would never think of asking 
his name. He is no dissembler. He is a sincere, 
thinking, real man. He is always cheerful. No 
toil, cold, heat, hunger, fatigue, or want of money 
depresses him. He does his work at the time, and 
he requires all under his command to be equally 
prompt. This promptness is one of Grant's char- 
acteristics, and it is one of the secrets of his suc- 
cess. On one of our marches, in passing through 
one of those small towns where the grocery is the 
principal establishment, some of the lovers of in- 
toxication had broken away from our lines and 
filled their canteens with whiskey, and were soon 
reeling and ungovernable under its influence. 
While apparently stopping the regiment for rest, 
Grant passed quietly along and took each canteen, 
and, wherever he detected the fatal odor, emptied 
the liquor on the ground, with as much nonchalance 
as he would empty his pipe. On this point his 
orders were imperative ; no whiskey or intoxicating 
beverage was allowed in his camp. Grant belongs 


to no church, } r et he entertains and expresses the 
highest esteem for all the enterprises that tend to 
promote religion. When at home he generally 
attended the Methodist church. While he was 
colonel of the Twenty-first Regiment, he gave every 
encouragement and facility for securing a prompt 
and uniform observance of religious services, and 
was generally found in the audience listening to 
the preaching. Shortly after I came into the regi- 
ment, our mess were one day taking their usual 
seats around the dinner-table when he remarked : 
' Chaplain, when I was at home and ministers 
were stopping at my house, I always invited them 
to ask a blessing at the table. I suppose a bless- 
ing is as much needed here as at home, and, if it is 
agreeable with your views, I should be glad to 
have you ask a blessing every time we sit down to 

Grant gave the world his creed in his second 
inaugural address. "Rather do I believe," he said, 
"that our great Maker is preparing the world, in 
his own good time, to become one nation, speak- 
ing one language, and when armies and navies 
will no longer be required." 

In the same address, referring to his war record, 
he said : "I performed a conscientious duty, with- 
out asking promotion or command, and without a 
revengeful feeling towards any section or any 


To the Centennial number of the Sunday-School 
Times he sent the following memorial message : — 

Washington, June 6, 1876. 
To the Editor of the " Sunday-School Times," Philadelphia: 
Your favor of yesterday, asking a message from me to 
the children and youths of the United States, to accompany 
your Centennial number, is received. My advice to Sun- 
day-schools, no matter what their denomination, is: Hold 
fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties ; write 
its precepts in your hearts, and practise them in your 
lives [underscoring this]. To the influence of this book 
we are indebted for all the progress made in true civiliza- 
tion, and to this we must look as our guide in the future : 
" Righteousness exalteth a nation ; but sin is a reproach to 
any people." Yours, respectfully, 

U. S. Grant. 

General McLaws, of the Confederate army, tells 
the following stories of General Grant : "An officer 
who once served on General Grant's staff once 
told me an incident which illustrated the quick de- 
cision of General Grant. It was just after the 
battle of Shiloh. The officers were grouped 
around a campfire, when General John A. Mc- 
Clernand rode up to General Grant, and handed 
him an autograph letter from President Lincoln 
directing Grant to turn his command over to Gen- 
eral McClernand. General Grant read the letter 
carefully, and then, tearing it up into small pieces 
and throwing them into the fire, said : — 

f f I decline to receive or obey orders which do 
not come through the proper channel.' 


" Pausing a moment, he turned to General Mc- 
Clernand and said : — 

Cf f Your division is under orders to leave this de- 
partment in the morning, and I advise you to go 
with it.' McClernand went, and that was the last 
that was ever heard of the order, for the culmina- 
tion of events showed that Grant was right, and 
no President dared to remove him, for a change 
of commanders just after the battle of Shiloh 
would have led to very different results for the 

" The dodged determination to do or die, which 
was so characteristic of Grant, was what gave 
backbone to the federal army. He would never 
acknowledge defeat. General Zachary Taylor 
once told me an anecdote of Grant, which occurred 
during the Mexican war. Lieutenant Grant was 
in charge of a party of men detailed to clear the 
way for the advance of boats laden with troops 
from Aransas Bay to Corpus Christi, by removing 
the oyster-beds and other obstructions. Failing 
either by words or signs to make those under 
him understand him, Lieutenant Grant jumped 
into the water, which was up to his waist, and 
worked with his men. Some dandy officers began 
making fun of him for his zeal, when General Tay- 
lor came upon the scene, and rebuked it by 
saying: — 

" f I wish I had more officers like Grant, who 


would stand ready to set personal example when 

fr He was the most original man I ever knew," 
said Admiral Porter, "not only in his methods but 
in personal ideas. With him war meant battle 
and peace, the perfection and the protection of indi- 
vidual liberty. He never hesitated to draw his 
sword at the call of his country, or to sheathe it 
when the dust of conflict had drifted away. The 
South ought to feel his loss more than the North, 
for he was first to yield to a conquered and im- 
poverished foe the inheritance of civic liberty. 
When Vicksburg fell, he adopted every method of 
relieving the distress of his unfortunate adver- 
saries, and many a woman and orphan will remem- 
ber his generous magnanimity in distributing the 
victorious army. When General Lee surrendered, 
he said to the Confederate soldiers : « Keep your 
horses, and take them home with you to the 
plough. You are a brave people ; you have fought 
a brave fight. Go back to your farms and work- 
shops, and follow as bravely the pursuits of peace.' 
General Grant was a military enigma. He over- 
reached public opinion. He went far beyond 
expectations or the hopes of his admirers. He 
agreeably disappointed his friends. He accom- 
plished everything that he undertook without any 
prior profession of merit. He was a man with no 
degree of egotism, but, with a charming and coura- 


geous modesty ; he forced opportunities and worked 
out success from the most intricate combinations 
of circumstances." 

Much has been written, and more will hereafter 
be written, of the remarkable modesty of General 
Grant, but the most striking evidence of his indif- 
ference to fame which has yet been recorded ap- 
pears in this statement of General Badeau : — 

"On Sunday afternoon, the 9th of April, 1865, 
as General Grant was riding to his headquarters 
from the farmhouse in which he had received the 
surrender of Lee, it occurred .to him that he had 
made no report of the event to the government. 
He halted at once and dismounted, with his staff, 
in a rough field within the national lines. Sitting 
on a stone, he asked for paper. I happened to be 
near, and offered him my memorandum book, such 
as staff officers often carry for orders or reports in 
the field. He laid the book on his knee and Avrote 
the despatch in pencil ; he handed it to me, and 
told me to send it to the telegraph operator. I 
asked him if I might copy the despatch for the 
operator, and retain the original. He assented, 
and I rewrote the paper, the original of which is 
in the keeping of The Century Magazine" 

Said General Sherman at the eighteenth reunion 
of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee held 
at Chicago, September 9, 1885 : "Though twenty 
eventful years have transpired since the close of 


the war, I need not repeat to you the trite expres- 
sion that our ranks are growing thinner, and our 
hair whiter, and that the eves which look up to me, 
and which once kindled and Hashed at the trumpet's 
sound, now seem sad, as (hough burying the fate of 
those five young fellows whose gay and gallant 
spirits took their flight in the glorious day the 
memories of which we have come together to cele- 
brate. Though in war death makes the battle- 
field his harvest, yet in peace he insidiously in- 
vades the most sacred premises, taking here the 
innocent babe, there the gentle, loving wife, again 
the youth in lusty manhood, and the king on his 
throne. During our last vacation he has stricken 
from our list of members the very head and front 
— Gen. U. S. Grant — the same who in the cold 
winter of 1861-62 gathered together at Cairo, 111., 
the fragments of an army, and led them up the 
Tennessee River. The creator and father of the 
army of the Tennessee took his final leave of earth 
at 8.08 on the morning of July 23, 1885, from 
Mt. MacGregor, a spur of the Alleghanies, in plain 
view of the historic battlefield of Saratoga. He 
had finished his life's work, and had bequeathed to 
the world his example. The lightning's flash car- 
ried the sad tidings to all parts of the civilized earth, 
and I doubt whether, since the beginning, there 
ever arose so spontaneous a wail of grief to bear 
testimony before high heaven that mankind had 


lost a kindred spirit, and his countrymen a leader. 
We, his first war comrades, concede to the family 
their superior rights, but claim the next place in 
the grand procession of mourners. We were with 
him in his days of adversity as well as prosperity, 
and were as true to him as the needle to the pole. 
We shared with him the trials and tribulations as 
well as the labors and battles of Henry, Donelson, 
Shiloh, Corinth and Vicksburg, when that trans- 
cendent and most valuable of all victories turned 
the universal £>-aze of our bewildered countrymen 
to the ' new star ' in the West, which plainly fore- 
told the man who had dispelled the cloud which 
lowered o'er our house, and was to lead us to the 
triumphal victories of 1865, and to the staple, en- 
during prosperity of 1885. Hundreds, yea thou- 
sands, of busy brains and pens are now trying to 
comprehend and describe this man, who did so 
much in so short a time, to trace the mysterious 
course of his most wonderful career, and to account 
for known results. They look to us, who were his 
daily associates in that critical epoch, to aid them 
in their commendable work, and as your president 
I must on this occasion contribute a share. In the 
year 1839 I was a first-class man in the United 
States Military Academy at West Point, a posi- 
tion of exaltation never reached since, though 
reasonably successful in life, and there appeared 
on the walls of the hall in the old north barracks a 


list of new cadets, among which was U. S. Grant. 
A crowd of lookers-on read United States Grant, 
Uncle Sam Grant, Sam Grant, and Sam Grant he 
is to-day in the traditions of the old Fourth United 
States Infantry. It afterwards transpired that his 
name was actually Ulysses Hiram Grant, and the 
mistake had been made by Gen. Hamer, the mem- 
ber of Congress who nominated him as the cadet 
from his district. Cadet Grant tried to correct 
this mistake at the beginning and end of his cadet 
life, without success ; and to history his name must 
ever be U. S. Grant. 

"I remember his personal appearance at the time, 
but the gulf of separation between a first-class man 
and a pleb. at West Point was, and is still, deeper 
and wider than that between a general-in-chief and 
a private in the army, so that I hardly noticed him. 
His reputation in the Fourth Infantry, in which he 
served through the Mexican war and until he re- 
signed his commission of captain in Oregon, July 
31, 1854, Avas of a good, willing officer, always 
ready for duty, extremely social and friendly with 
his fellows, but in no sense conspicuous, brilliant, 
or manifesting the wonderful qualities afterwards 
developed in him. I recall an instance when I 
met him in St. Louis in 1857, when he was a 
farmer in the country, and I, too, was out of the 
military service. The only impression left on my 
memory is, that I then concluded that West Point 


and the regular army were not good schools for 
farmers, hankers, merchants and mechanics. I did 
not meet him again till the civil war had broken 
out, when chaos seemed let loose and the gates of 
hell were wide open in every direction. Then 
came the news of General Grant's attack on the 
enemy's camp at Belmont on November 7, 1861, 
soon followed by the events of Columbus, Paducah, 
Henry and Donelson, all so simple, so direct, so 
comprehensible, that the effect on my mind was 
magical. They raised the dark curtain which be- 
fore had almost hidden out all hopes for the future, 
and displayed the policy and course of action nec- 
essary only to be followed with persistence to 
achieve ultimate success. Great as were his after 
achievements, I shall ever rate those of Henry and 
Donelson among the best. Yet, by one of those 
accidents so common in war, he had incurred the 
displeasure of his superior, General Halleck, whom 
I then esteemed as the master-mind ruling and di- 
recting the several armies subject to his orders 
from his headquarters in St. Louis, so that when, 
in March, 1862, I was permitted to take the field 
from Paducah with a new division, I found General 
Grant at Fort Henry under order from General 
Halleck to remain there, and to turn over the 
command of his army, then flushed with victory, 
to Gen. C. F. Smith, his next in rank. It so 
happened that General Smith had been adjutant 


and commandant when Grant and I were cadets at 
West Point, and he was universally esteemed as 
the model soldier of his day. He had also acquired 
large fame in the Utah expedition, and in the then 
recent capture of Fort Donelson, so that General 
Grant actually looked up to him as the older if 
not the better soldier, though he was at that time 
the senior by commission. Not one word of com- 
plaint came from him, only a general expression of 
regret that he had been wrongly and unjustly rep- 
resented to General Hal leek, and he advised me 
to give General Smith my most loyal support. 

" General Smith conducted the expedition up the 
Tennessee River to Savannah, Eastport, and Pitts- 
burg Landing, gave all the orders and instructions 
up to within a few days of the battle of Shiloh, 
when his health, shattered by the merest accident, 
compelled him to relinquish the command again to 
General Grant, who quietly resumed it where Smith 
had left off — ' accepted the situation.' He made 
few or no changes, and fought, on the ground which 
had been selected by General Smith, the bloody 
battle of Shiloh. During this fiercely contested 
battle he displayed the coolness, the personal 
courage, forethought, and deliberation which after- 
wards made him famous among men. Yet was he 
traduced, slandered, wronged, not only by the 
press universally, but by those who were in posi- 
tions of authority over him. You, however, who 


were at the battle's front, stood by him, being true 
and loyal always, and to his dying day he loved 
the Army of the Tennessee above all others, by 
reason of their loyalty to him in these the darkest 
days of his eventful life. 

"Nor was the end yet. After this great battle, 
three armies were assembled on that bloody field 
— Buell's, Pope's, and Grant's — and General 
Halleck came in person from St. Louis to com- 
mand the whole, with the declared purpose to 
assume the bold offensive. These armies were 
reorganized. Buell's army became the centre, 
Pope's the left, and Grant's was broken up. One 
part, under General George H. Thomas, was 
styled the right, while the other, under General 
McClernand, composed the reserve. General 
Grant was absolutely left out in the cold, with 
a title, 'second in command,' unknown to Ameri- 
can law or history. All moved forth to Corinth, 
consuming the whole month of May, and during 
that month became cemented the personal friend- 
ship between us which lasted to the end. Not 
one word of complaint came from him, no criti- 
cism on the acts of his superiors or the govern- 
ment, yet the trembling eyelid, the silent tear, 
and averted head told that his big heart was 
troubled. He knew that every officer and soldier 
who had followed him with such noble courage 
and simple faith at Belmont, Henry, Donelson and 


Shiloh felt for him, respected him, and under- 
stood the load of neglect, if not of positive insult, 
he was carrying. He knew and felt that he was 
in the way of the commanding general — as it 
were, a fifth wheel to a coach — with no real au- 
thority, no command, no positive right to order, 
or even advise, his former subordinates, hut I am 
sure he knew that he was ever welcome *o our 
bivouacs, and that we understood ami appreciated 
the entire situation. Then occurred the most 
questionable 'strategy' f the whole war. That 
magnificent army of nearly one hundred thousand 
of the best men on this continent, who could, if 
united, have marched to Vicksburg or to Mobile, 
was deliberately scattered. General Buell, with the 
Army of the Cumberland, which Thomas had re- 
joined, was sent eastward toward Chattanooga, and 
the others were scattered defensively from Eastport 
to Memphis. General Grant was sent to command 
the district of Memphis, and General Halleck him- 
self, being summoned to Washington, cast about 
for a new commander for the Army of the Ten- 
nessee. He offered the post to a most worthy 
quartermaster, who had the good sense to decline, 
and himself being compelled to leave, the com- 
mand at the West devolved on General Grant, not 
by selection, but by virtue of his superior com- 

" Henceforward his career was ever onward and 


upward, and when, on the fourth day of July, 
1863, Vicksburg surrendered to him, and the 
mighty Mississippi ' went unvexed to the sea,' the 
whole country arose and recognized in him the 
agent who was destined to guide and lead us all to 
final victory and triumph. These circumstances 
were all known to you at the time, were little ap- 
preciated, and were, in truth, the fires designed 
by Providence to test the ability, courage, and en- 
durance of him on whom a whole epoch in history 
was destined to hinge. General Grant knew little 
and cared less about ' strategy.' So with r tac- 
tics.' He never — so far as I can recall — ex- 
pressed a preference for Hardee over Scott, Casey 
or Morriss. Still, he loved to see order and sys- 
tem, and wanted his corps, divisions, brigades, 
and regiments handy and well instructed when 
called for. 

"He aimed to achieve results, caring little for the 
manner by which they were accomplished. He 
possessed and always asserted the most perfect 
faith in the justice of our cause, and always 
claimed that, sooner or later, it must prevail, be- 
cause the interest of all mankind demanded the 
existence of just such a republic as we had inheri- 
ted. He believed in deeds, not words — in a war 
of aggression, not of manoeuvre ; and from Belmont 
to Appomattox his strategy and tactics were the 
same — ever straight to the mark till all armed 


resistance had ceased, and absolute submission to 
lawful authority was promised. Fortunate was it 
for us, and for all mankind, that two such men as 
Lincoln and Grant were on duty during the criti- 
cal year 1863, each the full complement to the 
other; the one to think, the other to do, forming 
the solid arch in which our glorious Union could 
safely repose in the then earthquake of passion 
and folly. I will not yield to the temptation to 
trace the wonderful career of our comrade through 
his later life, which, in its phases, surpasses any 
of which history, ancient or modern, records. 
Surely Plutarch gives no parallel. To compare 
Grant with Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Napo- 
leon, or Wellington, seems to me folly, for he was 
not similar to any one of them any more than the 
period of time in which they existed resembled 
ours. Each epoch creates its own agents, and Gen- 
eral Grant more nearly impersonated the Amer- 
ican character of 1861-65 than any other living 
man. Therefore he will stand as the typical hero 
of the o-reat civil war in America of the nineteenth 

The following interesting reminiscences of Gen. 
Grant are given by George W. Childs, of the Phil- 
adelphia Ledge?- : " While living in Long Branch 
there was hardly a Confederate officer that came 
to the place without visiting the general. He was 
always glad to see them, and with those men he 


invariably talked over the war. The general had 
a very high opinion of General Joe Johnston, and 
always spoke of him as being one of the very best 
of Southern generals ; and at one of my dinners 
I had the pleasure of getting Johnston, Grant and 
Sherman too-ether. 

"In regard to election matters General Grant was 
a very close observer, and had a wonderful judg- 
ment in regard to results. One particular case 
ma}' be cited : Daring the canvass of his second 
term (towards the latter part) there began to be 
doubts throughout the country about the election. 
Senator Wilson, who was then running: on the 
ticket as Vice-President, who was a man of the 
people and had a good deal of experience in elec- 
tion matters for forty years, made an extensive tour 
through the country, and he came to my house just 
after the tour very blue. lie went over the ground, 
and showed that the matter was in a £> - ood deal of 
doubt. I went to see General Grant, and I told 
him about this feeling, particularly as coming from 
Senator Wilson. The general said nothing, but he 
sent for a map of the United States. He laid 
the map down on the table, went over it with a 
pencil, and said, f We will cany this State, that 
State and that State,' until he covered nearly the 
whole United States. It occurred to me that he 
might as well put them all in, and I ventured the re- 
monstrance : f I think it would not be policy to talk 


that way ; the election now is pretty near ap- 
proaching.' When the election came, the result 
of it was that lie carried every State that he had 
predicted, and that prediction was in the face of 
the feeling throughout the country that the Repub- 
lican cause was growing weaker, and in spite of 
the fact that the Vice-President, who was deeply 
interested in the election, had visited various parts 
of the country, South and West, and had come 
back blue and dispirited. 

" He was staying with me in Philadelphia during 
the canvass of the election between Tilden and 
Hayes, and on the morning of the momentous day 
after the election, when the returns gave Tilden a 
majority of all the electors, he accompanied me to 
my office. In a few moments an eminent Repub- 
lican senator and one or two other leading Republi- 
cans walked in, and they Avent over the returns. 
These leaders, notwithstanding the returns, said, 
' Hayes is elected,' an opinion in which the others 
coincided. General Grant listened to them, but 
said nothing. After they had settled the matter 
in their own minds, he said, ' Gentlemen, it looks 
to me as if Mr. Tilden were elected.' He after- 
wards sent for me in Washington and said, ' This 
matter is very complicated, and the people will 
not be satisfied unless something is done in regard 
to it which will look like justice. Now,' he con- 
tinued, c I have spoken of an Electoral Commission, 


and the leaders of the party are opposed to it, 
which I am sorry to see. They say that if an 
Electoral Commission is appointed 3*011 might as 
well count in Mr. Tilden. I would sooner have 
Tilden than that the Republicans should have a 
President who could be stigmatized as a fraud. If 
I were Mr. Hayes, I would not have it unless it 
was settled in some way outside of the Senate. 
This matter is opposed by the leading Republicans 
in the House and Senate and throughout the coun- 

"President Grant invited the leading Republi- 
can senators to dine with him, to meet me that day, 
and to get their sentiment. He said to me, ' You 
see the feeling here. I find them almost univer- 
sally opposed to anything like an Electoral Com- 
mission.' I named a leading Democrat in the 
House, who was, perhaps, one of the most promi- 
nent men in the country, a man of great influence 
and of great integrity of character, Avhom it would 
be well for General Grant to see in the matter, 
and the suggestion was acted on. I sent for this 
gentleman to come to the White House, and put 
the dilemma to him in President Grant's name as 
follows: f It is very hard for the President, and 
very embarrassing as to men on his own side, that 
this matter does not seem to find favor with them 
as well as to have Democratic opposition. Repub- 
licans think you might as well count Tilden in, but 


as the feeling throughout the country demands as 
honest a count of the thing as possible, this Elec- 
toral Commission ought to be appointed.' 

"The answer at once was that the Democrats 
would favor it, and it was through that gentleman 
and General Grant that the matter was carried 
through. Grant was the originator of the plan. 
He sent for Mr. Conkling and said, with deep 
earnestness, 'This matter is a serious one, and the 
people feel it very deeply. I think this Electoral 
Commission ought to be appointed.' Conkling 
answered, 'Mr. President, Senator Morton (who 
was then the acknowledged leader of the Senate) 
is opposed to it and opposed to your efforts ; but 
if you wish the commission carried, I can do it.' 
He said, f I wish it done.' Mr. Conkling took 
hold of the matter and put it through. .The 
leading Democrat I have spoken of took the in- 
itiative in the House and Mr. Conkling in the 
Senate. General Patterson of Philadelphia, who 
was an intimate friend of General Jackson, and a 
lifelong Democrat, was also sent for. He had 
large estates in the South, and a great deal of in- 
fluence with the Democrats, and particularly with 
Southern Democrats. General Patterson then was 
upwards of eighty, but he came down there and 
remained one or two weeks with General Grant, 
working hard to accomplish the purpose in view. 
After the bill had passed and was waiting for sig- 


nature, General Grant went to a State fair in 
Maryland the day it should have been signed, and 
there was much perturbation about it. 

" I was telegraphed by those interested that Gen- 
eral Grant was absent, and they were anxious 
about the signing. I replied that they might 
consider the matter as s:ood as signed, and the 
general came back at night and put his name to 
the document. Just before General Grant started 
on his journey around the world, he was spending 
some days with me, and at dinner with Mr. A. J. 
Drexel, Colonel A. K. McClure and myself, Gen- 
eral Grant reviewed the contest for the creation 
of the Electoral Commission, and the contest be- 
fore and in the commission, very fully and with 
rare candor, and the chief significance of his view 
was in the fact, as he stated it, that he expected 
from the beginning until the final judgment that 
the electoral vote of Louisiana would be awarded 
to Tiiden. He spoke of South Carolina and Ore- 
gon as justly belonging to Hayes, of Florida as 
reasonably doubtful, and of Louisiana as for 

" General Grant acted in good faith throughout 
the whole business. It has been said that the 
changing of the complexion of the court threw the 
matter into Hayes's hands, and if the court had re- 
mained as it was, Tiiden would have been declared 
President. General Grant was the soul of honor 


in this matter, and no one ever accused him, or 
ever hinted that he was untruthful in any way. 
I, for one, don't believe that he could possibly tell a 
lie or act deceitfully. There is another point of 
politics not generally known. During Garfield's 
canvass, Garfield became very much demoralized. 
He said that he not only did think that they would 
not carry Indiana, but he was doubtful if they 
would carry Ohio. During that emergency strong 
appeals were made to General Grant, and he at 
once threw himself into the breach. He saw his 
strong personal friends, and told them they must 
help. There was one very strong man, a senator, 
whom General Grant sent for, and told him that 
he must turn in, and, though he at first declined, 
at General Grant's urgent solicitation he entered 
the field, and contributed handsomely to the vic- 
tory. General Grant went into the canvass with 
might and main. The tide was turned, and it was 
through General Grant's personal efforts, seconded 
by his strong personal friends, who did not feel 
any particular interest in Garfield's election, that 
he Avas elected. 

"As to General Grant's third term, he never by 
word or by any letter suggested to any one that 
he would like to be nominated for a third term. 
Neither Mr. Conkling, General Logan nor Senator 
Cameron had any assurance from him in any way 
that he would like the nomination, and they pro- 


ceeded in that fight without any authority from 
him whatever. His heart was not on a third term 
at all. He had had enough of it. After his sec- 
ond term he told me, 'I feel like a boy out of 
school.' At first Grant intended to decline. In 
his conversation with me he said, c It is very diffi- 
cult to decline a thing that has never been offered ; ' 
and when he left the country for the West Indies 
I said, ' General, you leave this in the hands of 
your friends.' He knew I was opposed to a third 
term ; and his political friends were in favor of it, 
not merely as friends, but because they thought he 
was the only man who could be elected. There is 
not a line of his in existence where he has ever ex- 
pressed any desire to have that nomination. To- 
wards the last, when the canvass became very hot, 
I suppose his natural feeling was that he would 
like to win. That was natural. But he never 
laid any plans. He had never encouraged or 
abetted anything towards a third-term movement. 

" He was very magnanimous towards those who 
differed from him; and when I asked him what 
distressed him most in his political life, he said, 
f To be deceived by those I trusted.' He had a 
good many distresses. 

"Apropos of his power of thinking and of ex- 
pressing his thoughts, he wrote with great facility 
and clearness. His Centennial Address, at the 
opening of the exhibition in 1876, was hastily pre- 


pared at my house, and there were only one or two 
corrections in the whole matter. When he went to 
England he wrote me a letter of fourteen pages, 
giving me an account of his reception in England. 
The same post that brought that letter contained a 
letter from Mr. John Walter, proprietor of the Lon- 
don Times, saying that he had seen our mutual 
friend, General Grant, on several occasions, and 
wondered how he was pleased with his reception in 
England. The letter which I had received was so 
apropos that I telegraphed it over that very day 
to the London Times ; fourteen pages of manu- 
script, without one word being altered ; and the 
London Times next morning published this letter 
with an editorial. It happened that the cablegram 
arrived in London the very night the general was 
going through the London Times office to see the 
establishment. In the letter he said he thought 
the English people admirable, and was deeply sen- 
sible of the unexpected attention and kindness 
shown him ; the letter was written to a friend, not 
supposing that it would ever be put in print, and 
not one word had to be altered. I cite this to 
show General Grant's facility in writing. 

"In illustration of his perception of financial mat- 
ters I remember an instance. On one of the great 
financial questions before Congress he was consult- 
ing with Mr. A. J. Drexel, of Philadelphia, whom 
he regarded as one of his strongest personal friends, 


and the general expressed certain views, saying 
that he had contemplated writing a message. Mr. 
Drexel combated his views, and the general re- 
considered the matter and wrote a veto, showing 
that he was open to conviction. There was a 
matter he had considered, he thought, fully, and 
when this new light was given to him by Mr. 
Drexel, he at once changed, and wrote a veto in- 
stead of favoring it. A great many people had an 
idea that General Grant was very much set in his 
opinions ; but while he had his opinions, at the 
same time he was always open to conviction. Very 
often in talking with him he wouldn't make an ob- 
servation, and when you had got through it would 
be difficult to tell exactly whether he had grasped 
the subject or not, but in a very short time, if you 
alluded to that matter again, you would find that 
he had grasped it thoroughly. His power of ob- 
servation and mental assimilation was remarkable. 
There was no nonsense about him. He was always 
neat in his dress, but not fastidious. He said he 
got cured of his pride in regimentals when he came 
home from West Point. 

" Speaking on one or two occasions of the burial 
of soldiers, he observed that his old chief, General 
Scott, was buried at West Point, and that he 
would like to be buried there also. This was sev- 
eral years ago, and mentioned merely in casual 
conversation. That was a number of years ago, 


and I think once or twice afterwards ; it mi^ht 
have been alluded to incidentally since. 

"There was a paragraph in the newspapers re- 
cently referring to the speech of Hon. Chaimcey 
Depew, that Grant had saved the country twice. 
I don't know what could have been meant by that 
paragraph. In the Electoral Commission he saved 
a great deal of trouble, but whether he saved the 
country or not is another question. I don't know 
whether or not that could be the implication. 
What I have said about the Electoral Commission 
I have said of my own knowledge. 

" The man who was, perhaps, nearer to him than 
any one in his cabinet was Hamilton Fish. He 
had the greatest regard for the latter's judgment. 
It was more than friendship, it was genuine affec- 
tion between them, and General Grant always 
appreciated Mr. Fish's staying in his cabinet. Mr. 
Fish, if he had been governed by his own feelings, 
would have left the cabinet. 

" Apropos of the Indian matter he told me that, 
as a young lieutenant, he had been thrown among 
the Indians, and had seen the unjust treatment 
they had received at the hands of the white men. 
He then made up his mind if he ever had any 
influence or power it should be exercised to try to 
ameliorate their condition, and the Indian Com- 
mission was his idea. He wished to appoint the very 
best men in the United States. He selected Wil- 


liam Welsh, William E. Dodge, Felix Brunot, of 
Pittsburg, Colonel Robert Campbell, of St. Louis, 
and George II. Stuart, of Philadelphia. They 
were a portion of the Indian Commission which he 
always endeavored to establish, and they always 
could count upon him in aiding them in every pos- 
sible way. He took the greatest interest always, 
and never lost that interest. Even to his last 
moments he watched the progress of the matter, 
but it was a very difficult matter to handle at any 
time, and then especially, as there was a great 
Indian ring to break up. 

"He was of a very kindly nature, generous to a 
fault. I would often remonstrate with him, and 
say, 'General, you can't afford to do this,' and I 
would try to keep people away from him. In the 
case of one subscription, when they wanted him to 
contribute to a certain matter which I did not 
think he was able to do, I would n't let them go 
near him. Some injudicious person went there and 
he subscribed a thousand dollars. 

"General Grant always felt that he was badly 
treated by Halleck, but he rarely spoke un- 
kindly of any one. In fact, I could hardly say he 
spoke unkindly, but he did feel that he was not 
fairly treated by Halleck: During one of my last 
visits to him he showed me his army orders, which 
he had kept in books. He had a copy of everything 
he ever did or said in regard to army matters. 


He Mas very careful about that, as he had written 
all the orders with his own hand. He pointed to 
one of this large series of books, and said that it 
was fortunate that he had kept these things, be- 
cause several of the orders could not be found on 
any record of the War Department. But during 
my long friendship I never heard him more than 
two or three times speak unkindly of Halleck, 
although he was very unjustly treated by him — a 
fact which I think will be borne out by the records. 
I told him of something that occurred to me in 
connection with one of the parties in charge of 
records at Washington. He had been a strong 
friend of Halleck, and prejudiced against General 
Grant, in the office, where all these things passed 
through his hands. But, after twenty years of 
examination, he said that there was not a line re- 
lating to Grant that did not elevate him in the 
minds of thinking people. 

"As to Fitz John Porter, I spoke to him during 
the early stages of it, at a time when his mind had 
been prejudiced by some around him, and when he 
was very busy. Afterwards, when he looked into 
the matter, he said he was only sorry that he had 
so long delayed going at the examination as he 
ought to have done. He felt that if ever a man 
had been treated badly Porter was. He had ex- 
amined the case most carefully, gone over every 
detail, and he was perfectly well satisfied that 


Porter was right. lie wanted to do everything in 
his power to have him righted, and his only regret 
was that he should have neglected so lonsr and 
have allowed him to rest under injustice. 

" There are few men who would take a back track 
as General Grant did so publicly, so determinedly 
and so consistently right through. I had several 
talks with him, and he was continually reiterating 
his regrets that he had not done justice to Porter 
when he had the opportunity. He never ceased 
to the day of his death from his right to speak and 
write in favor of Porter. He ran counter to a 
great many of his political friends in this matter, 
but his mind was absolutely clear. Not one man 
in a thousand would go back on his record in such 
a matter, especially when he was not in accord 
with the Grand Army or his strong political 
friends. Grant went into the matter most care- 
fully, and his publications show how thoroughly 
he examined the subject, but he never wavered 
after his mind was fixed. Then he set to work to 
repair the injury done Porter. If Grant had had 
time to examine it while he was President, he 
would have carried it through. That was his 
great regret. He felt that while he had the power 
he could have passed it, and ought to have done 
so. When Grant took pains and time to look 
into the matter, no amount of personal feeling or 
friendship for others would keep him from doing 


the right thing. He could not be swerved from 
the right. 

"Another great trait of his character was his 
purity in every way. I never heard him express 
or make an indelicate allusion in any manner or 
shape. There is nothing I ever heard General 
Grant say that could not be repeated in the pres- 
ence of women. If a man was brought up for an 
appointment, and it was shown that he was an 
immoral man, he would not appoint him, no mat- 
ter how great the pressure brought to bear upon 

" General Grant would sit in my library with four 
or five others, talking freely, and doing, perhaps, 
two-thirds of the talking. Let a stranger enter 
whom he did not know, and he would say nothing 
more during that evening. That was one pecu- 
liarity of his. He wouldn't talk to people unless 
he understood them. At a dinner-party with a 
certain set that he knew all well he would lead in 
the conversation, but any alien or novel element 
Avould seal his tongue. This great shyness or 
reticence sometimes, perhaps, made him misunder- 

One of General Grant's Galena friends says 
that Grant went to Springfield alone, and without 
the knowledge of any person outside of his own 
family. Reaching his destination, he first called 
upon ex-Senator B. H. McClellan, of Galena, 


whom he knew slightly, and who at the time was a 
member of the Illinois Assembly. He told Mc- 
Clellan the object of his visit, and the latter, being 
greatly interested in Grant, not only because he 
was his fellow-townsman, but because he was 
skilled in military matters, accompanied him to 
the office of the Governor, and introduced him to 

It had been ascertained by the interception of 
letters, that a plan was brewing to cut off the 
southern part of the State of Illinois and attach it 
to the Confederacy ; rebel sympathizers thronged 
the very capital, and besides this the military 
affairs of the State were in a perfect chaos, and 
the services of experienced, cool and perfectly 
loyal men were needed to take the supervision of 
things and reduce order out of what was then ab- 
ject disorder. Mr. McClellan knew that Grant 
was the man for the emergency, and strongly 
urged the Governor to avail himself of his valuable 
services. He received slight encouragement at 
the first interview, but on the following day, when 
the two called again on the Governor, the latter 
claimed to have nothing for Grant to do, and 
could not promise anything for him in the future. 
Disappointed and not a little disgusted with the 
aspect of things at Springfield, Grant resolved to 
go to Ohio and proffer his services to the Governor 
of that State. Mr. McClellan told him he must 


not leave Springfield ; that notwithstanding the 
indifference of Yates to his military experience, 
the latter would soon be forced to call his (Grant's) 
services into requisition, as troops were rapidly 
pouring into the capital, and there was no one to 
muster them and assign them to regiments. 

On the third day, when Grant had fully resolved 
to leave, despite the expostulation of Mr. Mc- 
Clellan, Congressman Washburne arrived in 
Springfield, having been called thither to assist 
A. L. Chetlain, captain of Company A, Twelfth Ill- 
inois Infantry, in his candidacy for the position of 
colonel of the regiment, in which contest he was 
strenuously opposed by Congressman Lovejoy, of 
Princeton, who had strong military aspirations. 
Chetlain was the choice of the regiment, and it did 
not take Washburne Ions; to arrange matters for 
him. Having secured Chetlain's commission as 
colonel, Mr. Washburne's mission was concluded, 
and he was about to start back to Galena, when 
Assemblyman McClellan called on him in behalf 
of Grant, of whose presence in Springfield up to 
that time Mr. Washburne had had no knowledge. 
He at once saw the importance of securing Grant's 
services, and with characteristic promptness and 
energy he went to Governor Yates, and told him 
he must assign the captain to duty. The Governor 
thought over the matter awhile, and finally said : 
"To tell the truth, Washburne, I have forty ap- 


plications for every army position at rny disposal, 
but I will create a new place for your friend. I'll 
make him my military adviser." 

It was in this capacity, and ultimately through 
the influence of Mr. Washburne, that Grant was 
employed in the military service of the State. 
His first labors were in Adjutant-General Fuller's 
department, where matters were soon put in proper 
shape. The day following Grant's appointment 
as " military adviser " to the Governor, Mr. Mc- 
Clellan was passing through the State House, when 
he met the captain in the rotunda, with his arms 
full of old muskets, which he was carrying to the 
adjutant-general's office. Nodding to his fellow- 
townsman, Grant said : " It's all right, McClellan. 
You see I am at work." 

The following reminiscences are given by Gen- 
eral Morris Schaff : The day General Grant came 
down from Washington to take command of the 
Army of the Potomac it was generally known at 
Meade's headquarters the time his train was due, 
and quite a number of stall-officers and soldiers 
gathered about the station. There was great curi- 
osity to see the hero of Donelson, Vicksburg and 
Chattanooga. One after another of the members 
of his staff" came out of the car, and then came 
Grant in undress uniform. He was about 43 
years old and in perfect health. Before coming 
down the steps, he looked oiF around the crowd, 


with an entire absence of any self-consciousness, 
which has been one of his strongest characteristics, 
and which trait no one writing his civil history 
while President, or since, can afford to overlook, 
for it accounts for the occasion of all the adverse 
criticism that he has received. 

During the battle of the Wilderness his head% 
quarters were in a little clump of pines, and I was 
there off and on throughout the battle, and very 
well remember how perfectly calm he was. While 
aides were coming and going, giving the progress 
of the engagement, his manner was in marked con- 
trast to that of his friend Washburne, of Illinois, 
who, with Assistant Secretary of War Dana, was 
present, and could not keep still, his anxiety be- 
ing so great for Grant's success. 

On the afternoon of the second day of the battle 
of the Wilderness I started with his first despatches 
and an operator to telegraph them to Washington. 
He wrote his despatch while sitting at the foot of 
a pine tree. We reached Rappahannock station 
about sundown, and while the operator was trying 
to call up Washington I opened and read his de- 
spatch to the secretary of war. While I cannot 
recall the exact language, I remember I was struck 
with the simplicity and courage, for to an ordinary 
observer things looked black enough at the front. 
The occasion of sending these despatches was a 
misapprehension as to the amount of ammunition 


on hand in the army, and also to make arrange- 
ments for the trains that brought the supplies to 
take back wounded. AVhile resting the escort be- 
fore goino- back to Manassas, the circuit having 
been broken, a spy came through with orders to 
return with the despatches. 

I saw Grant under tire the night before General 
Sedgwick was killed; he was perfectly self-con- 
trolled. Men who were in the battle well remem- 
ber the desperate assault made by Sedgwick that 
night. I remember, while the assault was <roino- 
on, Sedgwick coming on foot to Grant. I don't 
know what he said, but heard Grant say in quiet 
tones-, " Put your men in, General Sedgwick." The 
fire at this time was heavy all round. We were 
then between our lines of battle, and as he sat on 
his tall bay horse "Egypt" (which had been given 
him by friends in Egypt, 111.), with his composed 
resoluteness, I am sure he must have inspired all 
the men with courage who saw him. 

When we got to City Point, as some of his staff 
were old West Point friends, I used to go over to 
headquarters very often, in fact almost every day, 
and join the group under the tent-fly in front of 
Grant's tent. When he was present he joined in 
the talk, and the conversation was perfectly free 
and natural, and this I mention as he was the only 
commander of the Army of the Potomac, and the 
only man of high military rank I have ever seen, 


who did not make one conscious, more or less un- 
pleasantly, of his rank. 

While he frequently talked of his Western cam- 
paigns, I only remember to have heard him make 
one reference to pending military matters. This 
was when Early was threatening Washington. 
During a lull in the talk he said, quietly : "I wish 
I was in the rear of old Early to-day with twenty- 
five hundred or three thousand good men. I would 
relieve Washington mighty quickly." 

He has been represented as a stolid and indiffer- 
ent man to the fortunes and feelings of others ; 
but the night after the ordnance depot I had in 
charge at City Point was exploded by a Confeder- 
ate torpedo (the report of the men who brought it 
down from Richmond was found there after the 
evacuation, and is now in Washington), and I was 
feeling badly at the loss of a great many of my 
men, and worse over criticism of carelessness that 
had been made, he spoke to me in the kindest 
manner, and told me not to mind it as I could in 
no way be held responsible for what had hap- 
pened ; that a similar explosion had occurred with 
him at Vicksburs;. This is a small affair to men- 
tion, but coming at the time it did and under the 
circumstances, for I was not on his staff, and was 
but a bo}^, it made a deep impression. 

The following; story gives a striking illustration 
of Grant's prompt action and stern imperturb- 


The war was over. General Lee and his half- 
starved Confederates had returned to their deso- 
lated homes on their parole of honor. The 
victorious Northern and Western armies, under 
command of Grant and Sherman, were encamped 
in and around Washington city. Jefferson Davis 
was an inmate of a casemate in Fortress Monroe, 
and Edwin M. Stanton was the power behind the 
throne, who ran the Government while Secretary 
of War. 

Generals Grant and Rawlins were playing a 
game of billiards in the National Hotel. A major 
in the regular army entered the room in a hurry 
and whispered to General Grant. The latter laid 
his cue on the table, saying, " Rawlins, don't dis- 
turb the balls until I return," and hurried out. 
One of the two civilians said to the other, " Pay 
for the game and hurry out. There is something 

General Grant had reached the street, where, in 
front of the hotel, stood a mounted sentinel. Grant 
ordered the soldier to dismount ; and, springing 
into the saddle, put spurs to the horse, and rode 
up the avenue so fast as to attract the attention of 

Colonel Barroll, of the Second Regular Infantry, 
was disbursing officer in the quartermaster's de- 
partment, and to the colonel one of the civilians 
went for information. Asking him if he knew the 


reason of General Grant's hasty action, Colonel 
Barroll answered, " Yes, and as you are aware of 
the coming of General Grant I will tell you all 
about it." Colonel Barroll then said : " Secretary 
Stanton sent for me in reference to the execution 
of certain orders, and while listening to his instruc- 
tions General Grant came in. The secretary 
greeted the general with a pleasant c Good morn- 
ing,' which the latter returned, and in continuation 
said, ' Mr. Secretary, I understand that you have 
issued orders for the arrest of General Lee and 
others, and desire to know if such orders have 
been placed in the hands of any officer for execu- 

" ( I have issued writs for the arrest of all the 
prominent rebels, and officers will be despatched 
on the mission pretty soon,' replied the Secretary. 

"General Grant appeared cool, though laboring 
under mental excitement, and quickly said : — 

"'Mr. Secretary, when General Lee surren- 
dered to me at Appomattox Court-House, I gave 
him my word of honor that neither he nor any 
of his followers would be disturbed so long as they 
obeyed their parole of honor. I have learned noth- 
ing to cause me to believe that any of my late ad- 
versaries have broken their promises, and have 
come here to make you aware of that fact, and 
would also suggest that those orders be cancelled.' 

" Secretary Stanton became terribly angry at 


being spoken to in such a manner by his inferior 
officer, and said : — 

" f General Grant, are you aware whom you are 
talking to? I am the Secretaiy of War.' 

" Quick as a flash Grant answered back, 'And 
I am General Grant. Issue those orders at your 
peril.' Then turning on his heel General Grant 
walked out of the room as unconcerned as if noth- 
ing had happened. 

" It is needless to say that neither General Lee 
nor any of his soldiers were arrested. I was dis- 
missed from the presence of the secretary with the 
remark that my services in connection with the 
arrest of the leading rebels would be dispensed 
with until he took time to consider, and I now 
wait the result of his decision." Like some cases 
in law, that decision of the great War Secretary was 
reserved for all time. 

Nathan Paige, a well-known lawyer of Wash- 
ington, declares that Grant was one of the most 
honest and upright of men, as he had seen his most 
acute sense of honor rigidly tested. When Grant 
was President, one of his nearest friends, who is 
now dead, came to Mr. Paige to make a loan of 
$3000. This friend said he had an affair in the 
War Department that would net him $50,000, 
which would certainly go through if Grant would 
approve it. This gentleman counted upon Grant's 
approval as absolute. Paige told him : " I will 


let you have the money, but you may be sure that 
he will not approve it unless it is right." No more 
was said about the matter. Time passed on. The 
note given for the loan was promptly met. Paige, 
meeting the borrower upon the street soon after, 
said to him, "I see your War Department matter 
got through all right, as the note was very 
promptly met." The debtor shook his head. 
"How did you pay then?" was asked. " I will 
tell you in confidence," was the reply. " After I 
obtained the money from you, I went directly to 
the President. I said to him, ' You know I am 
poor. With a stroke of your pen you can make 
me rich. I am related to you by the closest ties 
of blood and association. You cannot refuse me.' 
I then explained the matter. Grant said he could 
not do it. It would not be right. Seeing me very 
much cast down, he asked me if I was in debt. I 
explained that I was in debt $3000 — your note 
— and could not meet it. He at once wrote me 
his check for that amount, without a word. It 
was that check which took up your note." Mr. 
Paige afterwards investigated his story carefully, 
and, having confidential relations with the cashier 
of the bank where the note was paid, was able to 
verify its truth. 

The following eulogy was delivered by Hon. 
James G. Blaine : " The public sensibility and 
personal sorrow over the death of General Grant 


are not confined to one continent. Profound ad- 
miration for great qualities, and still more profound 
gratitude for great services, have touched the 
hearts of the people with true sympathy, increased 
even to tender emotion by the agony of his closing 
days and the undaunted heroism with which he 
morally conquered a last cruel fate. The world, 
in its hero-worship, is discriminating and practical, 
if not, indeed, selfish. Eminent qualities and rare 
achievements do not always insure lasting fame. 
A brilliant orator attracts and enchains his hearers 
with his inspired and inspiring gift ; but if his 
speech be not successfully used to some great, 
public, worthy end, he passes soon from popular 
recollection, his only reward being in the fitful 
applause of his forgetting audience. A victorious 
general in a war of mere ambition receives the 
cheers of the multitude and the ceremonial honors 
of his government ; but if he bring no boon to his 
country, his fame will find no abiding place in the 
centuries that follow. The hero for the ages is he 
who has been chief and foremost in his day in con- 
tributing to the moral or material progress, to the 
grandeur and glory, of the succeeding generations. 
Washington secured the freedom of the colonies 
and founded a new nation. Lincoln was the 
prophet who warned the people of the evils that 
were undermining our free government, and the 
statesman who was called to leadership in the work 


of their extirpation. Grant was the soldier who, by 
victory in the field, gave vitality and force to the 
policies and philanthropic measures which Lincoln 
devised in the cabinet for the regeneration and 
security of the republic. 

" The monopoly of fame by the few in this world 
comes from an instinct, perhaps from a deep-seated 
necessity of human nature. Heroes cannot be 
multiplied. The gods of mythology lost their 
sacredness and their power by their numbers. The 
millions pass into oblivion, the units only survive. 
Who aided the great leader of Israel to conduct 
the chosen people over the sands of the desert and 
through the waters of the sea into the Promised 
Laud? Who marched with Alexander from the 
Bosphorus to India? Who commanded the legions 
under Ceesar in the conquest of Galil? Who 
crossed the Atlantic- with Columbus? Who ven- 
tured through the winter passes of the Alps with 
the conqueror of Italy ? Who fought with Welling- 
ton at Waterloo? Alas! How\oon it may be 
asked who passed with Sherman from the moun- 
tains to the sea? Who stood with Meade on the 
Victorious field of Gettysburg? Who shared with 
Ihomas in the glories of Nashville? Who went 
with Sheridan through the trials and the triumphs 
of the blood-stained valley? 

" General Grant's name will survive through the 
centuries, because it is indissolubly connected with 


the greatest military and moral triumph in the his- 
tory of the United States. If the armies of the 
Union had ultimately failed, the vast and benefi- 
cent designs of Lincoln would have been frustra- 
ted, and he would have been known in history as a 
statesman and philanthropist who, in the cause of 
humanity, cherished great aims which he could not 
realize, and conceived great ends which he could 
not attain — as an unsuccessful ruler whose policies 
distracted and dissevered his country ; while Gen- 
eral Grant would have taken his place with that 
long and always increasing array of great men 
who are found wanting in the supreme hour of 

" But a higher power controlled the result. God 
in his gracious mercy had not raised up those men 
for works which should come to naught. In the 
reverent expression of Mr. Lincoln, 'No human 
council devised, nor did any mortal hand work 
out, those great things.' In their accomplishment 
those human agents were sustained by more than 
human power, and through them great salvation 
was wrought for the land. As long, therefore, as 
the American union shall abide, with its blessings 
of law and liberty, Grant's name shall be remem- 
bered with honor. As long as the slavery of 
human beings shall be abhorred, and the freedom 
of man assured, Grant's name shall be recalled 
with gratitude. And in the cycles of the future 


the story of Lincoln's life can never be told with- 
out associating Grant in the enduring splendor of 
his own great name. 

"General Grant's military supremacy was hon- 
estly earned without factious praise, without extra- 
neous help. He had no influence to urge his 
promotion except such as was attracted by his 
own achievements ; he had no potential friends 
except those whom his victories won to his sup- 
port. He rose more rapidly than any military 
leader in history. In two and a half years he was 
advanced from the command of a single regiment 
to the supreme direction of a million men, divided 
into many great armies, and operating over an 
area as large as the empires of Germany and Aus- 
tria combined. lie exhibited extraordinary quali- 
ties in the field. Bravery among xlmerican officers 
is a rule which has happily had few exceptions, 
but, as an eminent general said, Grant possessed 
a quality above bravery — he had an insensibility 
to danger, apparently an unconsciousness of fear. 
Besides that, he possessed an evenness of judgment 
to be depended upon in sunshine and in storm. 
Xapoleon said : ' The rarest attribute anions; sren- 
erals is two o'clock in the morning courage. I 
mean,' he added, 'unprepared courage — that which 
is necessary on an unexpected occasion, and which, 
in spite of the most unforeseen events, leaves 
full freedom of judgment and promptness of deci- 


sion.' No better description could be given of 
the type of courage which distinguished General 
Grant. His constant readiness to fight was an- 
other quality which, according to the same great 
authority, established his rank as a commander. 
'Generals,' said the exile at St. Helena, 'are rarely 
found eager to give battle. They choose their 
positions, consider their combinations, and then in- 
decision begins. Nothing,' added this greatest 
warrior of modern times, ' nothing is so difficult as 
to decide.' General Grant in his services in the 
field never once exhibited indecision, and it was 
this quality which gave him his crowning charac- 
teristic as a military leader. He inspired his men 
with a sense of their invincibility, and they were 
thenceforth invincible. 

" The career of General Grant when he passed 
from military to civil administration was marked 
by his strong qualities. His presidency of eight 
years was filled with events of magnitude, in 
which, if his judgment was sometimes questioned, 
his patriotism was always conceded. He entered 
upon his office after the angry disturbance caused 
by the singular conduct of Mr. Lincoln's successor, 
and quietly enforced a policy which had been for 
four years the cause of embittered disputation. 
His election to the presidency proved, in one im- 
portant aspect, a landmark in the history of the 
country. For nearly fifty years preceding that 


event there had been few presidential elections in 
which the fate of the Union had not in some decree 
been agitated, either by the threats of political 
malcontents or in the apprehensions of timid pat- 
riots. That day and that danger had passed. The 
Union was saved by the victory of the army com- 
manded by General Grant. No menace of its 
destruction has ever been heard since General 
Grant's victory before the people. 

"Death always holds a flag of truce over its 
own. Under that flag friend and foe sit peacefully 
together, passions are stilled, benevolence is re- 
stored, wrongs arc repaired, justice is done. It 
was impossible that a career so long, so prominent, 
so positive, as that of General Grant, should not 
have provoked strife and engendered enmity. For 
more than twenty years — from the death of Mr. 
Lincoln to the close of his own life, General Grant 
was the most conspicuous man in America, one to 
•whom leaders looked for leadership, upon whom 
partisans built their hopes of victory, to whom 
personal friends by tens of thousands offered the 
incense of sincere devotion. It was according to 
the weakness and the strength of human nature 
that counter movements should ensue, that General 
Grant's primacy should be challenged, that his 
party should be resisted, that his devoted friends 
should be confronted by jealous men in his own 
ranks, and by bitter enemies in the ranks of his 


opponents. But all these passions and all these 
resentments are buried in the grave which to-day 
receives his remains. Contention respecting his 
rank as a commander ceases, as Unionist and Con- 
federate alike testify to his prowess in battle and 
his magnanimity in peace ; controversy over his 
civil administration closes, as Democrat and Re- 
publican unite in pronouncing him to have been in 
every act and in every aspiration an American 

Said General Devens in his eloquent address : 
It is twenty years since the only name worthy 
to be mentioned with that of General Grant has 
passed into history. It seems like a caprice of 
fortune that while the great soldier of the war of 
the rebellion went almost unscathed through a hun- 
dred fights, its great statesman should die by the 
assassin's hand. How like a wondrous romance 
it reads that, in less than three years, from a 
simple captain, whose offer of his services to the 
"War Department was thought of so little conse- 
quence that the letter, although since carefully 
searched for, cannot be found, Grant had risen 
from rank to rank until he became the lieutenant- 
general who was to unite all the military springs 
of action in a single hand, to govern them by a 
single will, to see (to use his own expression) that 
the armies of the Union pulled no longer "like a 
balky team," but were moved and animated by a 


single purpose. Yet his way had not been one of 
uninterrupted success, and there had been no suc- 
cess that had not been won by his own wisdom and 
courage. He had seized and controlled the Ohio, 
and held Kentucky in the Union; he had opened 
the Tennessee and the Cumberland by the victories 
of Forts Henry and Donelson, but the much mis- 
understood battle of Shiloh had reduced him, un- 
complaining always, to a subordinate command 
under General Halleck, whose own failure at Cor- 
inth finally gave to him at last the command of all 
forces operating to open the Mississippi. Again 
and again during the often repeated repulses from 
Yicksburg there had been attempts to remove him, 
mainly at the instance of those who did not com- 
prehend the vastness of the problem with which 
he had to deal. Mr. Lincoln had stood by him, 
saving in his peculiar way, " I rather like that man ; 
I o-uess I will try him a little longer," until at last 
Vicksburg was taken, by a movement marked with 
the audacity of a master in the art of war, who 
dares to violate established rules and make excep- 
tions when great emergencies demand that great 
risks shall be run. The 4th of July, 1863, was 
the proudest day the armies of the Union up to 
that time had ever known, for the thunders of the 
cannon that announced in the East the great vic- 
tory of Gettysburg were answered from the West 
by those that told that the Mississippi in all its 
mighty length ran unvexed to the sea. 


His victory at Chattanooga followed the placing 
of the armies of the West under his sole control, 
and the time had come when he was to direct the 
armies of the whole Union. His place was there- 
after with the Army of the Potomac as the most 
decisive point of struggle, although its immediate 
command remained with General Meade. It was 
only thus and through its vicinity to the Capital 
that he could direct every military operation. As 
he entered upon the great campaign of 1864, Mr. 
Lincoln said : " If there is anything wanting which 
is within my power to give, do not fail to let me 
know it. And now, with a brave army and a just 
cause, may God sustain you." And General Grant 
had answered, " Should my success be less than I 
desire or expect, the least I can say is the fault is 
not with you." Side by side they stood together 
thus through all the desperate days that ensued, 
until in April, 1865, the terrific and protracted 
struggle was ended between the two great armies 
of the East; the long tried, always faithful Army 
of the Potomac held its great rival, the Army of 
North Virginia, in the iron embrace of its o-leamino- 
wall of bayonets, and the sword of Lee was laid 
(figuratively at least) in the conquering hand of 
Grant. Side by side Lincoln and Grant will stand 
forever in the Pantheon of history, and somewhere 
in the eternal plan we would willingly believe 
those great spirits shall yet guard and shield the 
land they loved and served so well. 


Whatever General Grant's errors or his weak- 
nesses — and he was mortal — like the spots on 
the sun, they but .-how the brightness of the sur- 
rounding surface, and we readily forget thorn as 
we remember the vast debt we owe. Whether 
without him we could have achieved success, it is 
certain that only through him we did achieve suc- 
cess. He was thoroughly patriotic, and Ids patri- 
otism sprang from his faith in the American Union. 
He had been educated to the service of the govern- 
ment ; he had looked to this rather than to the 
parties that exist under it, whose zeal sometimes 
leads men to forget that there can be no party 
success worth having that is not for the benefit of 
all. His political affiliations were slight enough, 
perhaps, but they had not been with the party that 
elected Mr. Lincoln. He knew well, however, 
that this frame of government once destroyed could 
never be reconstructed. He had no faith in any 
theory which made the United States powerless to 
protect itself. He comprehended fully the real 
reason why the slave States, dissatisfied with just 
and necessary restraint, sought to extricate them- 
selves from the Union, and he knew that a war 
commencing for its integrity would broaden and 
widen until it became one for the liberty of all 
men, and there was neither master nor slave in the 
land. His letter to his brother-in-law, lately pub- 
lished, although written during the first week of 


the war, his written remark to General Buckner 
in their interesting interview just before he died, 
M that the war had been worth all that it had cost," 
show how strongly he felt that, purified by the 
fires of the rebellion, the Union had risen grander 
and more august among nations. Who shall say 
he was not right? Who shall say that if all the 
noble lives so freely offered could be restored, but 
with them must return the once discordant Union 
with its system of slavery, they who gave would 
consent to have them purchased at such a price ? 

General Grant was not of those who supposed 
that the conflict with the South was to be any 
summer's day campaign ; he knew the position 
of the South, its resources, its military capacity, 
and the fact that, acting on the defensive, it would 
move its armies on interior lines. He recognized 
the difficulty in dealing with so vast an extent of 
territory, and that in a war with a hostile people, 
rather than a hostile army only, we could often 
hold but the tracts of territory immediately under 
our campfires ; yet he never doubted of ultimate 
success. He never believed that this country was 
to be rent asunder by factions, or dragged to its 
doom by traitors. He said to General Badeau 
once, who had asked him if the prospect never ap- 
palled him, that he always felt perfectly certain of 
success. Thus, though to him many days were 
dark and disastrous, none were despondent. "The 


simple faith in success you have always mani- 
fested," said Sherman to him, "I can liken to 
nothing else than the faith a Christian has in the 
Saviour." His remarkable persistence has caused 
him sometimes to be looked on as a mere dogged 
fighter. No suggestion could be more preposter- 
ous. He felt sure of his plan before he com- 
menced ; then temporary obstructions and difficul- 
ties did not dismay him, and, whatever were the 
checks, he went on with resolution to the end. 

If stern and unyielding in the hour of conflict, 
in the hour of victory no man was ever more gen- 
erous and magnanimous. He felt always that 
those with whom we warred were our erring 
countrymen ; and that when they submitted to the 
inevitable changes that war had made, strife was at 
an end. But he never proposed to yield or tamper 
with what had been won for liberty and humanity 
in that strife. 

He has passed beyond our mortal sight — sus- 
tained and soothed by the devotion of friends and 
comrades, by the love of a people, by the affec- 
tionate respect and regard of many once in arms 
against him. In that home where he was almost 
worshipped, M he has wrapped the drapery of his 
couch around him, as one that lies clown to pleas- 
ant dreams." Front to front on many a field he had 
met the grim destroyer where the death-dealing 
missiles rained thick and fast from the rattling 


rifles and the crashing cannon. He neither quailed 
nor blanched, although death came at last with a 
summons that could not be denied, when all that 
makes life dear was around him. He could not 
but know he was to live still in memory as long as 
the great flag around which his fio-htinsr lesions 

O © © © © 

rallied should wave above a united people. To 
most men the call of death is terrible, 

" But to the hero, when his sword has won 
The battle of the free, 
That voice sounds like a prophet's word, 
And in its hollow tones are heard 
The thanks of millions yet to be." 


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